Hamilton city council doesn’t think police officers charged with crimes should get paid while they’re suspended, and it’s asking the province to stop it.
Councillors voted unanimously this week to write to the province asking it to amend the Police Services Act. Police officers charged with crimes, or with serious misconduct under the Police Services Act, should not get paid while suspended, they said.
A handful of Hamilton police officers are suspended with pay right now. Recently, Inspector David Doel was suspended with pay for four years while authorities investigated him for 14 misconduct charges. Those included having sex while on the job, keeping pornography on his work computer and using video equipment and the national criminal database for his own personal use.
After earning more than $500,000 while suspended, Doel retired in the midst of his hearing.
Coun. Judi Partridge of Flamborough hears about this issue everywhere she goes.
“People are ticked right off,” she told councillors Wednesday.
The move is long overdue, Coun. Chad Collins said.
“This is one of those issues where the public is seeking substantial change,” he said. “They’ve been calling out for it every time a new case arises. I get calls every time.”
It could eventually change. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services launched the Future of Policing Advisory Committee.
That committee is examining the issue of suspension with pay, spokesperson Seirge LeBlanc said in an email Thursday.
Chief Glenn De Caire of Hamilton Police Service has also been an advocate of being able to suspend officers without pay, but says government legislation dictates it.
Coun. Lloyd Ferguson of Ancaster, who is also vice chair of the police services board, introduced the motion.