The Windsor Police Service’s new Chief, Al Frederick, has acknowledged that a change in culture is needed at the service he now leads.

Charges and allegations of smuggling, theft and assault have shaken the public’s trust of the Windsor Police Service.

The service has been making headlines for years; from officers accused of cover-ups to police beatings caught on video tape.

Some of the more severe, recent incidents include:

  • Dec. 2003 – Officer Alan Shipley used an unmarked police vehicle while stealing patio furniture from a retail store. He then tried to blame the theft on an innocent man.  He was sentenced to six months in custody and 18 months probation.
  • April 2009 - Const. Colin Little was fined $2,000 under provincial legislation after he was caught smuggling liquor into Canada. He also pleaded guilty to seven Police Act charges and was eventually fired.
  • Sept. 2009 – Const. Brad Snyder assaulted a man in handcuffs. He eventually pleaded guilty to assault. He was docked 120 hours pay and ordered to make a $2,000 donation to charity. Five officers other than Snyder were disciplined under the Police Act for their involvement in the case but the discipline was not revealed.
  • July 2010 – Officer Dorothy Nesbeth failed to declare a large amount of alcohol stored in her trunk, while returning to Canada at the Ambassador Bridge. She faces charges of deceit and two counts of discreditable conduct before a Police Act hearing.
  • July 2010 – Const. Ronald Hansen  was caught smuggling tobacco into Canada. He was eventually found guilty, fined $11,600 and sentenced to 15 months house arrest and one year probation. He resigned from the Windsor Police Service.
  • April 2010 – Det. David Van Buskirk attacked a legally blind doctor and later pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm. The attack was caught on surveillance video. In 2012, Van Busk Kirk was sentenced to six months jail.
  • June 2012 – Const. Kent Rice suspended with pay after video surfaced showing an officer thought to be Rice allegedly kicking and punching a non-combative man in a stairwell of a housing complex in February of 2012.

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Beginning Oct. 22 and culminating with a town hall on Oct. 24 at the Capitol Theatre, CBC Windsor’ Beyond the Badge series will take an in-depth look at the issues and how they have eroded the trust of those people the force is paid to protect.

Windsor residents can have their say by sending CBC Windsor questions they would like answered. Join the conversation on Facebook, at www.cbc.ca/windsor or on Twitter, by tweeting your questions to @CBCWindsor using the hash tag #AskWindsorPolice.

Our moderators will pose your questions to a panel of experts, including Windsor Police Chief Al Frederick.

The panel includes:

Windsor Police Chief Al Frederick: 

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Windsor Police Chief Al Frederick.

Born and raised in Windsor, he came back to this community after graduating from McMaster University with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees. He has served the entirety of his 27 year police career with the Windsor Police Service.

Frederick has worked a diverse range of operational assignments, including positions in the Professional Standards Branch, the Criminal Investigation Division and the Emergency Services Unit, where he served as a tactical Team Leader.

In 2006, upon being promoted to the rank of Inspector, Chief Frederick served as Executive Officer to Chief Glenn Stannard, before being appointed Deputy Chief of Administration Services in July of 2007, where he served until his appointment as Acting Chief in December of last year.

Nathalie Des Rosiers, general counsel, Canadian Civil Liberties Association: 

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Nathalie Des Rosiers.

Nathalie Des Rosiers has been general counsel of Canadian Civil Liberties Association since July 1, 2009. She was previously Interim Vice-President (Governance), University of Ottawa (2008-2009), Dean of the Faculty of Law – Civil Law Section of the University of Ottawa from 2004 to 2008 and President of the Law Commission of Canada from 2000 to 2004. She obtained an LL.B. from Université de Montréal and an LL.M. from Harvard University, and received an honourary doctorate from the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2004.

She is a member of the Québec Bar and of the Law Society of Upper Canada, Full Professor at University of Ottawa and was a member of the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Law. Nathalie Des Rosiers served as law clerk to Supreme Court of Canada Justice Julien Chouinard and worked in private practice.

She was named one of Canada’s 25 most influential lawyers in 2011 and in 2012 by the Canadian Lawyers Magazine; One of Canada’s 10 Nation Builders in 2010 by the Globe & Mail; she received the Order of Ontario in 2012; the Médaille de l’Université Paris X in 2007; the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX) Partnership Award in 2004; the Medal of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1999; and the Order of Merit from AJEFO in 2000.

She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Law Commission of Ontario and was also a member of the Ontario Environmental Appeal Board and a member of the Ontario Law Reform Commission.

Hon. Madame Justice Micheline A. Rawlins:

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Madame Justice Micheline A. Rawlins.

Madame Justice Micheline A. Rawlins graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor in 1978. In October 1992, she became the first black woman to be appointed to the Ontario Provincial Court.

Since the 1980's Justice Rawlins has sat on the board of many organizations in Windsor, including the Girl Guides, the Boy Scouts, Robinson House, Windsor Urban Alliance, Windsor Media Council, the University of Windsor and more. She is currently on the University Board of Governors and the Friends of Women’s Studies Committee.

Hon. Madame Justice Micheline A. Rawlins has received an extensive list of awards, including:

  • The NABHM Community Contribution Award, 1994.
  • African-Canadian Achievement Award in Law, 1997.
  • Canadian Association of Black Lawyers Black Judges in Canada Recognition Award, 2000.
  • National Congress of Black Women Outstanding Contribution to Women, to Law and to Canada Award, 2002.
  • The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002.
  • Windsor Woman of the Year, 2004.