Hamilton Police investigating their own

News Nov 04, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton Police are investigating two of their own after an

alleged altercation between an on-duty officer and an off-duty officer in Hess

Village two weeks ago.

The incident happened shortly after police announced plans

to bring horse-mounted officers to the Hess Village area, in addition to new surveillance

cameras, to deal with their ongoing safety and security concerns in the busy

bar district. Earlier this year, Hamilton police went to city council to share

concerns about Hess Village.

The incident also raises questions about oversight of police

when they investigate themselves.

Division 1 Inspector Warren Korol confirmed last week he is

case manager of a criminal investigation into the matter involving an on-duty

officer and an off-duty officer that happened in the early morning of Sunday,

Oct. 25 on George Street, east of Hess Street.

“We are in the early stages of the investigation,” Insp.

Korol stated in an email. “There is nothing more to add at this time.”

Ontario’s Special Investigation Unit investigates incidents

involving police and civilians that have resulted in serious injury or death,

or allegations of sexual assault. The incident in Hess Village between two Hamilton

Police Services apparently does not fall within that mandate.

Paul Cormier, executive officer of the SIU, said he spoke to

Hamilton Police Deputy Chief Ken Leendertse about the Hess Village incident and

as a result of that conversation, determined the SIU will not be investigating.

The incident also apparently doesn’t fall under the mandate

of the new Office of the Independent Police Review Director, which opened on

Oct. 19.

The OIPRD receives and processes public complaints about

police, and decides whether to refer complaints back to the responsible chief

of police for investigation, or the related police services board. But the new

office operates on a confidential basis and does not release information about

complaints to the public. A spokesperson would only say 20 public complaints

had been received, but would not comment on where they were referred or if any

involve the Hamilton Police Service.

Each police service sets up its own internal discipline

process. Discipline decisions can be appealed to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

The commission does not investigate complaints or criminal allegations against

police. Instead, it hears appeals from disciplined police officers and

apparently has some authority to review police services boards and police

chiefs.

But Cathy Boxer, a senior advisor at the Ontario Civilian

Police Commission, said it would be inappropriate for the OCPC to comment on

any specific case – which could potentially find its way before the commission

in the future.

In February, Hamilton Police Inspector Bill Stewart and

Staff Sergeant Mark Cox appeared before Hamilton city councillors to ask for

help dealing with increasing violence in the Hess Village bar district.

They reported crowds swelling to 4,500 people – many of whom

are impaired – in a small area. According to police, some officers had reported

being attacked while trying to restore order in unruly crowds.

In July, the police services board approved spending $50,000

on four wireless surveillance cameras for Hess Village. At the time, Deputy

Chief Leendertse said the new cameras would help police better deploy 10

special duty police officers assigned to Hess Village during peak hours, and should

help deter rowdy behaviour.

“We’ve proven it that it has a calming effect. We saw that

in the downtown core. People know that they’re on video and they don’t act

stupid, we hope,” Deputy Chief Leendertse said at the time.

Hamilton Police investigating their own

News Nov 04, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton Police are investigating two of their own after an

alleged altercation between an on-duty officer and an off-duty officer in Hess

Village two weeks ago.

The incident happened shortly after police announced plans

to bring horse-mounted officers to the Hess Village area, in addition to new surveillance

cameras, to deal with their ongoing safety and security concerns in the busy

bar district. Earlier this year, Hamilton police went to city council to share

concerns about Hess Village.

The incident also raises questions about oversight of police

when they investigate themselves.

Division 1 Inspector Warren Korol confirmed last week he is

case manager of a criminal investigation into the matter involving an on-duty

officer and an off-duty officer that happened in the early morning of Sunday,

Oct. 25 on George Street, east of Hess Street.

“We are in the early stages of the investigation,” Insp.

Korol stated in an email. “There is nothing more to add at this time.”

Ontario’s Special Investigation Unit investigates incidents

involving police and civilians that have resulted in serious injury or death,

or allegations of sexual assault. The incident in Hess Village between two Hamilton

Police Services apparently does not fall within that mandate.

Paul Cormier, executive officer of the SIU, said he spoke to

Hamilton Police Deputy Chief Ken Leendertse about the Hess Village incident and

as a result of that conversation, determined the SIU will not be investigating.

The incident also apparently doesn’t fall under the mandate

of the new Office of the Independent Police Review Director, which opened on

Oct. 19.

The OIPRD receives and processes public complaints about

police, and decides whether to refer complaints back to the responsible chief

of police for investigation, or the related police services board. But the new

office operates on a confidential basis and does not release information about

complaints to the public. A spokesperson would only say 20 public complaints

had been received, but would not comment on where they were referred or if any

involve the Hamilton Police Service.

Each police service sets up its own internal discipline

process. Discipline decisions can be appealed to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

The commission does not investigate complaints or criminal allegations against

police. Instead, it hears appeals from disciplined police officers and

apparently has some authority to review police services boards and police

chiefs.

But Cathy Boxer, a senior advisor at the Ontario Civilian

Police Commission, said it would be inappropriate for the OCPC to comment on

any specific case – which could potentially find its way before the commission

in the future.

In February, Hamilton Police Inspector Bill Stewart and

Staff Sergeant Mark Cox appeared before Hamilton city councillors to ask for

help dealing with increasing violence in the Hess Village bar district.

They reported crowds swelling to 4,500 people – many of whom

are impaired – in a small area. According to police, some officers had reported

being attacked while trying to restore order in unruly crowds.

In July, the police services board approved spending $50,000

on four wireless surveillance cameras for Hess Village. At the time, Deputy

Chief Leendertse said the new cameras would help police better deploy 10

special duty police officers assigned to Hess Village during peak hours, and should

help deter rowdy behaviour.

“We’ve proven it that it has a calming effect. We saw that

in the downtown core. People know that they’re on video and they don’t act

stupid, we hope,” Deputy Chief Leendertse said at the time.

Hamilton Police investigating their own

News Nov 04, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton Police are investigating two of their own after an

alleged altercation between an on-duty officer and an off-duty officer in Hess

Village two weeks ago.

The incident happened shortly after police announced plans

to bring horse-mounted officers to the Hess Village area, in addition to new surveillance

cameras, to deal with their ongoing safety and security concerns in the busy

bar district. Earlier this year, Hamilton police went to city council to share

concerns about Hess Village.

The incident also raises questions about oversight of police

when they investigate themselves.

Division 1 Inspector Warren Korol confirmed last week he is

case manager of a criminal investigation into the matter involving an on-duty

officer and an off-duty officer that happened in the early morning of Sunday,

Oct. 25 on George Street, east of Hess Street.

“We are in the early stages of the investigation,” Insp.

Korol stated in an email. “There is nothing more to add at this time.”

Ontario’s Special Investigation Unit investigates incidents

involving police and civilians that have resulted in serious injury or death,

or allegations of sexual assault. The incident in Hess Village between two Hamilton

Police Services apparently does not fall within that mandate.

Paul Cormier, executive officer of the SIU, said he spoke to

Hamilton Police Deputy Chief Ken Leendertse about the Hess Village incident and

as a result of that conversation, determined the SIU will not be investigating.

The incident also apparently doesn’t fall under the mandate

of the new Office of the Independent Police Review Director, which opened on

Oct. 19.

The OIPRD receives and processes public complaints about

police, and decides whether to refer complaints back to the responsible chief

of police for investigation, or the related police services board. But the new

office operates on a confidential basis and does not release information about

complaints to the public. A spokesperson would only say 20 public complaints

had been received, but would not comment on where they were referred or if any

involve the Hamilton Police Service.

Each police service sets up its own internal discipline

process. Discipline decisions can be appealed to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

The commission does not investigate complaints or criminal allegations against

police. Instead, it hears appeals from disciplined police officers and

apparently has some authority to review police services boards and police

chiefs.

But Cathy Boxer, a senior advisor at the Ontario Civilian

Police Commission, said it would be inappropriate for the OCPC to comment on

any specific case – which could potentially find its way before the commission

in the future.

In February, Hamilton Police Inspector Bill Stewart and

Staff Sergeant Mark Cox appeared before Hamilton city councillors to ask for

help dealing with increasing violence in the Hess Village bar district.

They reported crowds swelling to 4,500 people – many of whom

are impaired – in a small area. According to police, some officers had reported

being attacked while trying to restore order in unruly crowds.

In July, the police services board approved spending $50,000

on four wireless surveillance cameras for Hess Village. At the time, Deputy

Chief Leendertse said the new cameras would help police better deploy 10

special duty police officers assigned to Hess Village during peak hours, and should

help deter rowdy behaviour.

“We’ve proven it that it has a calming effect. We saw that

in the downtown core. People know that they’re on video and they don’t act

stupid, we hope,” Deputy Chief Leendertse said at the time.