Calgary

2 Calgary police supervisors relieved from duty due to harassment, chief says

Two supervisors with the Calgary Police Service have been relieved from duty due to allegations of bullying and harassment, according to police Chief Mark Neufeld.

The future of the 2 individuals will be determined after investigations conclude

Calgary police Chief Mark Neufeld said two supervisors have been removed from the workplace pending the results of a harassment investigation. (CBC)

Two supervisors with the Calgary Police Service have been relieved from duty due to allegations of bullying and harassment, according to police Chief Mark Neufeld.

"We've taken them out of the workplace with their supervisors' responsibilities for the short term, so that we can actually conduct an investigation and find out exactly what was going on," Neufeld told The Homestretch.

The harassment allegations are related to bullying, Neufeld said, and are not of a sexual nature.

"[This wasn't] a typical week. But what I take from that as I look back on it is, certainly the workers are feeling like they can come forward and this stuff is being taken seriously," he said. "We're dealing with it."

Neufeld wouldn't say if the two involved were officers or general staff, and said decisions as to the future of the two individuals would be determined after investigations conclude.

"I don't actually, with either one of these cases — unless something way more serious comes out of it — I don't see any terminations or anything. This is not that serious," he said.

'I was clear this wasn't going to be tolerated'

Neufeld took over as police chief in June of this year, vowing at the time to boost morale and change the culture within the service amidst a period of controversy.

"I think, really early, I was clear this wasn't going to be tolerated," Neufeld said. "I don't think that anybody says they're going to tolerate that in the workplace, but I think that maybe there had been more latitude given than there should have been."

As part of an employee survey conducted in 2018, 76 per cent of Calgary police said morale was poor at work. Only four per cent strongly agreed that morale was strong.

Thirteen officers filed bullying and harassment complaints in 2017, one of whom said she had endured continued bullying and sexual harassment.

Former chief Roger Chaffin retired 2½ years before his contract was set to expire, saying at the time that a core group of senior managers was resistant to change.

"The nature of our workplace is it's busy, the work is complex, it's stressful. We have a very diverse workforce and all of that makes for the conditions where you can have conflict," Neufeld said. "I think we need to do a better job of managing this sort of thing."

Recent results from the department's employee survey showed a marked improvement in morale — those who strongly agreed that "morale was good" was more than four times higher than it was in 2018.

With files from The Homestretch and Lucie Edwardson

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.