Calgary

Police union president calls for Calgary Police Commission chair to resign

Calgary Police Association president Les Kaminski said Thursday it is not a personal attack but based on what he calls a lack of transparency and accountability at the top.

CPA president says it's not a personal attack but based on what he calls a lack of transparency

Calgary Police Association president Les Kaminski, right, is calling for Calgary Police Commission chair Brian Thiessen, left, to resign. (CBC)

The head of the city's police union is calling for the chair of the Calgary Police Commission to resign.

Calgary Police Association president Les Kaminski said Thursday that chair Brian Thiessen has failed to do his job properly, and failed to ask questions about alleged bullying and other workforce complaints.

"This is not personal, this is about transparency and accountability," Kaminski said.

Kaminski also said he doesn't have faith in Calgary Police Commission chair Brian Thiessen's ability to hire the right new chief of police, following the resignation of former police chief, Roger Chaffin.

"Chief Chaffin has resigned. It is now time for his ally, police commission chair Brian Thiessen, to resign as well," said Kaminski.

"Brian Thiessen clearly does not understand his role as chair of the police commission. He's failed entirely. His mandate is to provide objective oversight of the chief, not to be his cheerleader."

Kaminski says morale in the department is at its lowest point and that public confidence in the force has dropped.

Commission says members support chair

In response, the Calgary Police Commission released a statement Thursday afternoon, saying its members support the chair.

"The Commission has worked hard in recent years on many of the issues brought forward by both employees and citizens aimed at creating a strong organization and a safe city," it read in part.

"We will hold true to our priorities as we execute our oversight role. We are disappointed that the Calgary Police Association continues to decline opportunities to collaborate with the commission to move initiatives forward.

"We will not let this personal attack on chair Thiessen be a distraction as we focus our efforts on hiring a new Chief Constable for Calgary."

Last week, the head of Calgary police's human resources resigned from her position after seven months on the job.

Sheila Ball, a civilian, was hired in February 2018 to oversee the human resources department. The reason for her resignation wasn't provided.

Chaffin has said a search for Ball's replacement will begin immediately, and in the meantime an officer has been temporarily appointed to the position.

The force is also searching for a replacement for Chaffin, who plans to retire in January — three years in to his five-year contract.

The police commission has said an acting chief will be appointed to replace Chaffin once he retires while the search for his successor continues. 

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