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'Any day an Ottawa police officer is charged criminally is a bad day for us,' board chair says

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OTTAWA -

The chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board says she "absolutely" has confidence in the Ottawa Police Service following the arrests of two constables in a corruption investigation.

On Thursday, Constables Haidar El Badry and Mohamed Mohamed were charged by the RCMP following an investigation by the RCMP Anti-Corruption Unit.  Two other people are facing charges.

In an interview with Newstalk 580 CFRA's Weekends with Andrew Pinsent, chair Diane Deans said she can't comment specifically on the case.

"But I can say to you, obviously, as chair of the police services board, any day that an Ottawa police officer is charged criminally is a bad day for us," said Deans Saturday morning.

"We rely on trust and confidence of the public for policing in Ottawa, and that is an erosion of trust when that happens. I suppose to a certain extent when you have a huge workforce there will be times when there's something goes wrong, but it's not a good day and not great for the police service."

Ottawa police announced Thursday evening that two officers were facing charges. In a statement, Chief Peter Sloly said police received information regarding the potential corruption activities involving a member of the service, then asked the RCMP Anti-Corruption Unit to investigate.

Chief Sloly and Ottawa Police Association President Matt Skof declined to comment to CTV News Ottawa on Friday.

"As chief, I know that the charges laid today will shake public trust and harm the morale of our members," Chief Sloly wrote in a statement Thursday evening. "These charges are very serious but do not reflect the overall integrity of OPS members nor do they represent the OPS values."

Pinsent asked Deans if she has confidence in the service and the chief.

"I absolutely have confidence in our police service and in our police chief. He came to Ottawa on a change agenda, he's been doing a great job. He is very dedicated to this city and to the police service and to policing in Ottawa," said Deans.

El Badry, 29, of Ottawa is charged with breach of trust by a public officer, obstructing justice and causing a person to deal with a forged document.  Mohamed, 45 of Ottawa is charged with obstructing justice.

The RCMP charged two other people. Ashley El Badry, 29, of Ottawa is charged with forgery and causing a person to deal with a forged document. Mohamed Salameh, 29, of Gatineau charged with dealing with a forged document.

CTV News Ottawa has learned the charges against the two officers are allegedly connected to what Ottawa police called one of the largest single seizures of fentanyl after a raid on Thursday afternoon.

In a separate release on Thursday, Ottawa police announced 1.4 kilograms of fentanyl was seized during a raid at a home on Holmwood Avenue. Ameer El Badry, 23, of Ottawa is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime.

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