Dec. 8, 2010 

Subject: Our reputation being unjustly attacked

We are shocked by the way this entire controversy has been handled by management which has publicly condemned our members before a proper investigation has been undertaken.

Our profound disappointment with the leadership of the Ottawa Police Service is not about the specifics of the cases before the courts. We are angered by the way conclusions have been drawn, before our members have had the opportunity to explain their actions.

The Ottawa Police Association welcomes the decision to call in a third party to investigate the incidents in cellblocks. We fully support oversight and the investigative process. We believe in the principle of justice that an accused is innocent unless proven otherwise.

As an organization, we have supported and indeed asked for additional training and resources for our members. In fact, as far back as a year ago, a letter was presented to the chief concerning these very issues and recommending that cellblock personnel be provided additional training specific to their duties. This reasonable request has gone unanswered. It is extremely regrettable that it took a public relations crisis for our leadership to act.

There will be some who misconstrue our support of our members as a failure to appreciate the seriousness of the situation. This is patently false. We believe whole heartedly it would be wrong to judge anyone until they've had the opportunity to articulate the reasons for their actions.

Despite these challenges, we are confident that our members will maintain their professionalism and continue to provide excellent service to the community that make us proud to be members of the Ottawa Police Service.

Steve Boucher,
President, Ottawa Police Association