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  • Writer's pictureThe Low Down

Low Down makes MRC des Collines Police ‘look crooked’

The Editor,

Well this article (“When cops do bad things,” March 31 edition of The Low Down) certainly lacks nuances, which makes it look like personal revenge and defamatory.

If your point was to make a statement about the Quebec-wide Access to Information law, it was missed. First, it's not used by police departments only, and how can you make a global generalization by only pinpointing the MRC des Collines Police? You made them look like a crooked police department.

Those six police officers you mentioned didn't receive any privileges because they were police officers or because their cases were swept under the carpet. Their cases were an HR matter and were addressed accordingly. It's false to say that people in other professions could face court or being fired if they did the same thing as those six police officers. If the one that smuggled booze had been caught by the borders, he/she would had been fined like any other citizen. It's not work related. In fact, this person had "a slap on the wrist" probably because he/she was a police officer. People in position of power have to follow a code of ethic other professions may not have. Do you really think a public worker would be fired for doing that? Same for a minor accident with a cruiser. Would a postman be fired for backing up into a post with his truck?

If any serious breach of conduct happens, a police officer would have to face a court like anybody else. There is also a special administrative court only for trials [involving] police officers, which is called Commissaire à la déontologie policière. Not once [did] you mention it, even though your article is called, "When cops do bad things." Every judgment is public.

There is also a difference between an indictable offense and an offence punishable on summary conviction, which explains why a cop found guilty of DUI can keep his badge. It's certainly not because the MRC des Collines Police department has its own code of conduct.

The argument "it's our taxes" — well everyone including police officers pay taxes. Cops pay the public worker's salary and infrastructure, public workers pay welfare programs, and so on. Yet we rarely see papers on the wrongdoing of librarians; sometimes on blue collars though.

Last thing, there is also a difference in keeping embarrassment secret and not shouting them from the rooftops. The Ottawa Police Service has a website for their disciplinary cases? — Well good. Do they report minor HR cases or isolated incidents without direct consequences though? It's true that the MRC des Collines Police doesn't have such a thing on their website. Neither does the Toronto Police, nor the Ontario Provincial Police, nor the Sûreté du Québec. Are they crooked police departments too?

Catherine Bourassa

Gatineau, QC


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