Edmonton

Edmonton photo radar peace officer fired after being filmed sleeping on the job

An Edmonton Peace Officer is off the job two months after a complaint was filed against her for allegedly falling asleep while conducting photo radar.

City says firing was unrelated to sleeping complaint

Jack Shultz filmed a peace officer operating photo radar allegedly sleeping on the job. (Jack Shultz/YouTube)

An Edmonton peace officer is off the job two months after a complaint was filed against her for allegedly falling asleep while conducting photo radar.

But in an investigation report, the city said she was removed from her role as a peace officer "for reasons which are unrelated to this code of conduct complaint."

I drove past her and she was sleeping.- Jack Shultz, Edmonton Cash Cows

Jack Shultz, founder of anti-photo radar group Edmonton Cash Cows, filed the complaint with the city.

Shultz said he was tipped off about a photo radar operator asleep in their truck near 159th Street and 104th Avenue in October last year. 

After receiving the tip, he got in his car went to the school zone he was told the truck was parked in.

"I drove past her and she was sleeping so what I did is I went around and parked across from her … and then I watched her for a period of about five minutes and in those five minutes I'd seen absolutely no body movement," Shultz said. 

Shultz filmed as he approached the peace officer's truck, banged on the window, startled her, and spoke to her.

"I told her what she's doing by sleeping in a school zone is wrong and she shouldn't be doing it," Shultz said.

Shultz filed an official complaint with the City of Edmonton after that and said he gave an official statement and sent the video of the peace officer allegedly sleeping.

The investigation concluded on Dec. 27, 2019, and the peace officer was removed from her position. Shultz said the city sent him a letter to explain their findings from the investigation.

"The operator stated that her eyes were open and that she had not been sleeping prior to you confronting her," the letter read.

In a statement to CBC News, the city said, "the peace officer was found to be failing to make adequate observations relating to the movement of traffic at their enforcement site."

The city added that no tickets were given out by the peace officer on Oct. 17, 2019, the date she was filmed by Shultz allegedly sleeping on the job. 

In the letter sent to Shultz, the city said the peace officer was removed from her assignment at City of Edmonton Traffic Safety for reasons unrelated to Shultz's code of conduct complaint.

The city would not say whether the allegations against the peace officer had any bearing on the decision to terminate her employment. 

"It's good that she was kind of held accountable," Shultz said.

However Shultz said he wants all tickets issued by the peace officer during the two months of the investigation to be considered null and void, and he doesn't plan to drop his concerns around photo radar ticketing anytime soon.

"After Oct. 17, processes were established to confirm that this peace officer was actively monitoring traffic when working subsequent shifts. Therefore, tickets issued after Oct. 17 are confirmed to be valid, issued and mailed to drivers," the city spokesperson said in a statement.

Shultz said since sharing his story over the last few days, more people have come forward to him from around Alberta about photo radar operators asleep at the wheel.

"They can't have this happening; this is unacceptable," Shultz said.