Wednesday, March 27, 1991

Bob Brent

Police morale may fall under Eng officer says

Metro police officers may not "give their all" if Susan Eng is named head of the police services board, the force's head detective says.

In an interview with The Star, Detective Staff Superintendent Charles Maywood, said he's worried about the effect Eng's appointment could have on morale among officers.

A police source said Premier Bob Rae may name Eng as early as today. Senior Metro politicians already had begun marshalling their forces in an effort to stop the appointment.

Scarborough Mayor Joyce Trimmer, who has pegged Eng as "too antagonistic," planned to solicit the support of Metro's other mayors at a meeting today. Maywood said he and other officers are concerned because Eng has demonstrated an "adversarial" attitude to police in her two years as a member of the board.

"She's already had her mind made up on what sort of people we are," he said, adding he was speaking as an individual.

Eng could not be reached for comment. Maywood's comment was echoed by Art Lymer, head of the police union, who said officers are wary of Eng because "all she's done is criticize." Maywood warned that officers could exercise "discretion" on the job if they don't feel they're being treated fairly by Eng.

"They're not going to give it their all, he said. I think the degree of enthusiasm... would be somewhat lacking."

Both men said they fear Eng doesn't understand what conditions are like for officers on the street. "She's got to meet the troops," Lymer said. Maywood said some of Eng's proposals as a member of the board were unrealistic but he did nor offer any specific examples.

Eng has supported motions calling for officers to file a report each time they draw their guns and suggested cutting back overtime pay for officers on court duty - examples of reforms not popular among officers. "I'm not at the point of revolt," Maywood cautioned. "But I am concerned."

Both Maywood and Lymer also said they doubt Eng, who is of Chinese origin, will represent the view of the entire community as head of the board. "I'm not too sure she speaks for the people at Dufferin and St. Clair. I'm not sure she speaks for the people at Jane and Finch or along the Danforth," Maywood said.

"I could work with Susan Eng if she has the dedication for the men and women of the force and the community, not just her own segment of the community, as (outgoing chairperson) June Rowlands, Lymer said.

Toronto Police clippings... [Fiona Stewart]

Created: May 8, 1998
Last modified: February 15, 1999

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