Some police officers east of Toronto are in hot water for making a satiric video that depicts their attempts to seek new duties, but their chief is not amused by the gripes of "disgruntled employees."
The "Central Cells" video uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday is just over a minute long and features three people, who the Durham Regional Police have identified as two police officers and a special constable from the force.
The video is meant to look like a movie trailer and has accompanying text and music. According to the police force, it depicts the officers' quest to be transferred out of its courts branch.
Some of the sequences include a police officer rolling under a closing garage door, a shot of a presumed officer passing toilet paper to a person behind bars, as well as a clip of a person in uniform making a snow angel on the hood of a police cruiser. There is also a shot showing a police officer mopping what appears to be blood from a cell.
Near the end of the video, a clip of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been incorporated, taken from a day in city council in which he had pantomimed drinking and driving. The three officers are then seen mimicking the mayor’s gestures.
There's also a well-known clip of Ford falling over, as well as a shot of U.S. President Barack Obama going up a ramp, followed by a shot of the officers waving — as if they are bidding goodbye to him.
The end of the video features a credit roll, listing Ford as the director.
Chief Const. Mike Ewles released a statement Wednesday saying that an internal investigation had been launched into the video.
Ewles said he was "disappointed by this on a number of levels," including that one of the officers who appears in the video has been identified as a supervisor.
"I have no idea what the motivation for producing this video would be, but I believe it is disrespectful to the hardworking men and women of this branch and embarrassing for everyone here at the DRPS," Ewles said in the statement.
Roger Anderson, the head of the Durham Regional Police Services Board, said the video was simply unprofessional.
“You put on that uniform, you’re carrying a lot of weight and you should always remember how much that uniform means to everybody on the street,” he said Thursday.
There is a history between Ewles and one of the officers who appears in the video, Sgt. Mike Glennie.
Glennie is the former head of the union that represents the Durham officers. He publicly clashed with the chief constable in 2011, levelling accusations that Ewles abused his position of power, but the chief was later exonerated.