Ontario Civilian Police Commission to release report into Windsor Police Service, board

A long-anticipated final report is expected to come Friday regarding an investigation into the Windsor Police Service and Windsor Police Services Board.

Investigation into potential 'poisoned work environment' was launched May 2018

More than two years after an investigation was launched, a final report is expected this week in regards to an investigation of the Windsor Police Services Board and force. (Tom Addison/CBC)

A long-anticipated final report is expected to come this week, regarding an investigation into the Windsor Police Service and Windsor Police Services Board.

The investigation was launched in May of 2018 after the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) received multiple complaints from members of the service raising serious concerns about the workplace environment. The commission started to hear complaints in January of that year.

The OCPC, an independent oversight agency that rules on policing services under the Police Services Act, said they will issue their final report on Friday. 

A 2018 statement from police outlined the terms of reference for the investigation from the OCPC but did not include specifics about the complaints, only stating that the complaints were received from multiple members of the WPS between January and April of 2018.

"These complaints raise serious concerns about the workplace environment of the WPS, the administration of the WPS, and the oversight provided by the Windsor Police Service Board," read the statement. 

The investigation was to be conducted with regard to subsection 31 (4) of the Police Services Act, which states that "the board shall not direct the chief of police with respect to specific operational decisions or with respect to the day-to-day operation of the police force."

The OCPC was looking into whether there was "improper interference in specific legal proceedings" and if that interference involved current members of the WPS and Windsor Police Services Board.

It also investigated allegations of a "poisoned work environment" within the WPS by administration "in relation to workplace policies and/or accommodation requests." 

The OCPC was also initially investigating:

  • the promotional process to decide if it is fair and transparent while ruling if the board exercises proper oversight
  • if the potential hiring of relatives is handled in a fair and transparent way
  • if the board informed administration during the promotional process involving senior administration of issues relating to its mandate

The OCPC would later expand the scope of its investigation to include looking at how WPS and the Windsor Police Services Board handled a 911 call that came from then-Chief Al Frederick's home in November of 2018.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens is the chair of the board and Frederick was the chief at the time the investigation was launched. Pam Mizuno took over as chief in October of 2019, after Frederick's retirement.



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