OPP reviewed Windsor police handling nine days after 911 call
Windsor police refused CBC's request to be provided a copy of the OPP's report
At least two city councillors are hoping to be shown an Ontario Provincial Police report into how a 911 domestic disturbance call from Chief Al Frederick's house was handled by his own officers.
CBC Windsor broke the story Thursday — which included a video of Frederick refusing to comment on the incident or if it even took place, referring to it as "rumours" at one point.
After the story came out, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens released a statement, acknowledging he was informed about the call the day it happened. Dilkens said, in an emailed statement, an OPP review was requested by the Windsor Police Services Board nine days after the call.
Watch the video where CBC Windsor host Arms Bumanlag asks WPS Chief Al Frederick about the call. This interview took place Dec. 17, 2018 — after the WPS concluded its investigation and an OPP review had begun.
Dilkens spoke to other media on Thursday, but turned down requests to speak with CBC Windsor.
CBC reached out to all city councillors to get their view of the situation. Most didn't respond — or didn't want to talk about it.
But both Ward 9 Coun. Kieran MacKenzie and Ward 3 Coun. Rino Bortolin say they want more information into the OPP's Commissioner review of the Nov. 12 hang up call.
"I want to understand why things happened when they did," said MacKenzie. "I expect to see that information come out in the report."
Bortolin said it was on the mayor to "restore confidence" in light of what happened.
"It's difficult to ask your deputies or your own members of your own police force to investigate the chief," said Bortolin. "That's why it's really important to look elsewhere, to turn elsewhere and to pass over the investigation. The mayor is the chair of the board. It's incumbent of him to restore that confidence in the board and in the police force."
The mayor — who also serves as chair of the Windsor Police Services Board — said municipal police determined the call "was not of a criminal nature" and that the OPP's subsequent review showed Windsor police properly "followed established policies."
Unable to obtain a copy of the report
CBC Windsor reached out to Ontario Provincial Police for a copy of the report, but were told the "information belongs to Windsor" and we would have to ask WPS for a copy.
WPS denied our request.
We also reached out to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services for clarification on what was supposed to happen in a situation like this — and who is supposed to do what.
The ministry was unable to discuss an individual case, but did tell us the Police Services Act denotes three bodies that provide independent oversight of police.
- The Office of the Independent Police Review Director
- The Special Investigations Unit
- The Ontario Civilian Police Commission
According to the mayor's emailed statement, it was the Commissioner of the OPP who was asked to review the Nov. 12 phone call.
The nine-day delay
Police officer turned criminal defence lawyer Jake Shen questions the timing of the OPP review and wants to know exactly how it was carried out.
"I'm not too sure the OPP actually investigated the incident or if they were just invited to come in and review the investigation conducted by Windsor police," Shen said. "So, there is a big difference. And also I don't understand why there was a 9-day delay."
Shen said having an outside agency conduct the initial investigation would have put a complainant in a better position to talk about what happened.
According to Shen, Windsor police should have "disengaged" their investigation once they determined all parties were safe.
He also wants to know where the detachment that reviewed the investigation came from — if they were too geographically close, that could pose a problem too, said Shen.
Shen said he would like to to know why it took the Windsor Police Services Board nine days before asking for the Commissioner of the OPP to review how the WPS handled its investigation.
"You're creating more smoke rather than clarification," said Shen.
In a situation like this, Shen said silence doesn't help.