Audit of Hamilton Police not public

News Oct 22, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton Police have publicly responded to four of the 29

recommendations made by Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional

Services after an audit of the service last year.

Other recommendations may be addressed in one of the

Hamilton Police Service’s Board’s in-camera meetings which are held after every

monthly public meeting of the board. Despite the Police Services Act calling for

all meetings to be public, there are exceptions allowing meetings to be

confidential when dealing with matters of public security or intimate financial

and personal matters.

Hamilton’s PSB will not release all 29 recommendations found

in the Ministry’s audit report, part of a province-wide Police Services

Inspection Program.

Board chair Bernie Morelli said after this week’s meeting

the provincial audit process, which reviewed the service’s business planning,

prisoner care and control, traffic management and enforcement, and use of

force, has become more in-depth over the years.

“It’s become tougher, and rightly so,” Mr. Morelli said.

But he said the report as a whole, with each of the

recommendations, will not be released – because it can contain operational

information that shouldn’t be in the public forum.

“It would be highly inappropriate for us to release the

report,” Mr. Morelli said.

Ministry spokesperson Tony Brown said audit reports are

considered confidential by the province, but it is up to each individual police

service to decide what they release to the community they serve.

Different police services in Ontario appear to have their

own individual policy and practice in dealing with ministry audits.

Constable Alain Boucher of the Ottawa Police Service said

they have posted two ministry audits on the service’s website over the past

five years, including one in June 2009.

Inspector Stephen Beckett of the Waterloo Regional Police

Service said the service was last inspected by the ministry in 2006. He said

the ministry made recommendations “that addresses investigative techniques and

other sensitive information that does not serve the best interests of the

administration of justice should it be released publicly.”

As a result, the Waterloo Police has not made the report

available to the community.

In Hamilton’s case, the Police Service Board acknowledged

three minor policy changes that were made as a result of recommendations in the

provincial audit, in a May 19, 2009 report.

And this week, the board passed an amended protocol for

sharing information with the City of Hamilton – also one of the 29

recommendations made by the province.

A facility update report this week on the Hamilton Police

Service lack of space referred to a “potential concern in the custody cell

block” identified by a provincial audit team. The audit identified a prisoner

could hide under a bed and not be viewed by security cameras. The report states

facilities staff is retrofitting all cell beds to meet requirements of the

audit. It’s not clear if this action was recommended in the audit.

Representatives of the ministry visited Hamilton Police

Service between Oct. 20 and 30 last year to conduct the audit. The report was

received by the office of the Chief in February.

 

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Audit of Hamilton Police not public

News Oct 22, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton Police have publicly responded to four of the 29

recommendations made by Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional

Services after an audit of the service last year.

Other recommendations may be addressed in one of the

Hamilton Police Service’s Board’s in-camera meetings which are held after every

monthly public meeting of the board. Despite the Police Services Act calling for

all meetings to be public, there are exceptions allowing meetings to be

confidential when dealing with matters of public security or intimate financial

and personal matters.

Hamilton’s PSB will not release all 29 recommendations found

in the Ministry’s audit report, part of a province-wide Police Services

Inspection Program.

Board chair Bernie Morelli said after this week’s meeting

the provincial audit process, which reviewed the service’s business planning,

prisoner care and control, traffic management and enforcement, and use of

force, has become more in-depth over the years.

“It’s become tougher, and rightly so,” Mr. Morelli said.

But he said the report as a whole, with each of the

recommendations, will not be released – because it can contain operational

information that shouldn’t be in the public forum.

“It would be highly inappropriate for us to release the

report,” Mr. Morelli said.

Ministry spokesperson Tony Brown said audit reports are

considered confidential by the province, but it is up to each individual police

service to decide what they release to the community they serve.

Different police services in Ontario appear to have their

own individual policy and practice in dealing with ministry audits.

Constable Alain Boucher of the Ottawa Police Service said

they have posted two ministry audits on the service’s website over the past

five years, including one in June 2009.

Inspector Stephen Beckett of the Waterloo Regional Police

Service said the service was last inspected by the ministry in 2006. He said

the ministry made recommendations “that addresses investigative techniques and

other sensitive information that does not serve the best interests of the

administration of justice should it be released publicly.”

As a result, the Waterloo Police has not made the report

available to the community.

In Hamilton’s case, the Police Service Board acknowledged

three minor policy changes that were made as a result of recommendations in the

provincial audit, in a May 19, 2009 report.

And this week, the board passed an amended protocol for

sharing information with the City of Hamilton – also one of the 29

recommendations made by the province.

A facility update report this week on the Hamilton Police

Service lack of space referred to a “potential concern in the custody cell

block” identified by a provincial audit team. The audit identified a prisoner

could hide under a bed and not be viewed by security cameras. The report states

facilities staff is retrofitting all cell beds to meet requirements of the

audit. It’s not clear if this action was recommended in the audit.

Representatives of the ministry visited Hamilton Police

Service between Oct. 20 and 30 last year to conduct the audit. The report was

received by the office of the Chief in February.

 

-30-

 

 

 

 

Audit of Hamilton Police not public

News Oct 22, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton Police have publicly responded to four of the 29

recommendations made by Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional

Services after an audit of the service last year.

Other recommendations may be addressed in one of the

Hamilton Police Service’s Board’s in-camera meetings which are held after every

monthly public meeting of the board. Despite the Police Services Act calling for

all meetings to be public, there are exceptions allowing meetings to be

confidential when dealing with matters of public security or intimate financial

and personal matters.

Hamilton’s PSB will not release all 29 recommendations found

in the Ministry’s audit report, part of a province-wide Police Services

Inspection Program.

Board chair Bernie Morelli said after this week’s meeting

the provincial audit process, which reviewed the service’s business planning,

prisoner care and control, traffic management and enforcement, and use of

force, has become more in-depth over the years.

“It’s become tougher, and rightly so,” Mr. Morelli said.

But he said the report as a whole, with each of the

recommendations, will not be released – because it can contain operational

information that shouldn’t be in the public forum.

“It would be highly inappropriate for us to release the

report,” Mr. Morelli said.

Ministry spokesperson Tony Brown said audit reports are

considered confidential by the province, but it is up to each individual police

service to decide what they release to the community they serve.

Different police services in Ontario appear to have their

own individual policy and practice in dealing with ministry audits.

Constable Alain Boucher of the Ottawa Police Service said

they have posted two ministry audits on the service’s website over the past

five years, including one in June 2009.

Inspector Stephen Beckett of the Waterloo Regional Police

Service said the service was last inspected by the ministry in 2006. He said

the ministry made recommendations “that addresses investigative techniques and

other sensitive information that does not serve the best interests of the

administration of justice should it be released publicly.”

As a result, the Waterloo Police has not made the report

available to the community.

In Hamilton’s case, the Police Service Board acknowledged

three minor policy changes that were made as a result of recommendations in the

provincial audit, in a May 19, 2009 report.

And this week, the board passed an amended protocol for

sharing information with the City of Hamilton – also one of the 29

recommendations made by the province.

A facility update report this week on the Hamilton Police

Service lack of space referred to a “potential concern in the custody cell

block” identified by a provincial audit team. The audit identified a prisoner

could hide under a bed and not be viewed by security cameras. The report states

facilities staff is retrofitting all cell beds to meet requirements of the

audit. It’s not clear if this action was recommended in the audit.

Representatives of the ministry visited Hamilton Police

Service between Oct. 20 and 30 last year to conduct the audit. The report was

received by the office of the Chief in February.

 

-30-