Calgary

Calgary Police Commission chair disappointed by councillor's resignation

Calgary Police Commission chair Brian Thiessen reiterated the service's commitment to gender diversity Thursday, days after Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart resigned from the commission.

13 people complained about Coun. Colley-Urquhart's conduct, chair says

Brian Thiessen, chair of the Calgary Police Commission, spoke to the Calgary Eyeopener about the sudden resignation of Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart from the commission.

Calgary Police Commission chair Brian Thiessen reiterated the police service's commitment to gender diversity Thursday, days after Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart resigned from the commission following ongoing concerns over the treatment of women in the force. 

"The most important thing is this isn't about the commission and it's not about Diane, it's about the service and how we make it a more inclusive police service," Thiessen told the Calgary Eyeopener.

Colley-Urquhart submitted a letter of resignation to the board Tuesday, a day after Thiessen said she may have violated its code of conduct by speaking publicly against the Calgary Police Service for what she called a lack of action around allegations of bullying and harassment against women in its ranks.

"There's no space between the Calgary Police Commission and Coun. Colley-Urquhart on how committed the commission is to gender diversity," Thiessen said Thursday, adding the commission encouraged her to speak out on the issue at its public meetings.

Colley-Urquhart went public with her concerns over the treatment of women in the force after she said she had dozens of private meetings with female officers who alleged they were bullied and harassed. One of those women publicly resigned from the force at a police commission meeting last month.

Commission took 'amicable approach'

On Thursday, Thiessen said 13 members of the public complained about Colley-Urquhart's conduct. The commission earlier said it received two formal complaints regarding Colley-Urquhart's behaviour, following a number of letters, emails and phone calls from people raising concerns.

"The general summary of the complaints was that she was putting her interests first and not the interests of the commission and the public," Thiessen said.

"Under our code of conduct, we have a mandatory review if members of the public complain about members of the commision."

Thiessen said he reviewed the code of conduct with Colley-Urquhart several weeks ago.

"We decided to take an amicable approach. I sat down with Diane, I walked her through the allegations, and we decided that we could resolve it informally," Thiessen said.

Thiessen said he was surprised and disappointed Colley-Urquhart quit the commission.

Colley-Urquhart has not responded to requests for an interview.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener

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