Windsor police chief 'embarrassed' by officers' actions
Al Frederick says no misconduct, no matter how small, will go unpunished
Acting Windsor Police Chief Al Frederick said he's embarrassed by the conduct of some of his colleagues.
The police department faces allegations of police brutality and a $14-million lawsuit. It also failed to report four serious injuries to the province's Special Investigations Unit under the watch of former chief Gary Smith, who abruptly retired amid the turmoil just before Christmas.
"We’re embarrassed. This is embarrassing to all the people ... that work hard each and every day," Frederick told Tony Doucette of CBC Radio One's Early Shift on Monday. "We have misconduct that’s occurring. It’s occurring in a serious nature and it’s too frequent."
Frederick said no act of misconduct is too small to go unnoticed and unpunished. From turning a blind eye to traffic violations committed by fellow officers to attempting to receive the "professional courtesy" of not having to pay duty on items at either of Windsor's two border crossings, it's all wrong, according to Frederick.
"That is absolutely misconduct. It starts with the small transgressions ... and it leads to bigger things. We have to pay attention to those little things ... that way the bigger things don’t perpetuate," Frederick said.
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Frederick and Mayor Eddie Francis, who also chairs the police services board, revealed on Friday a 27-point plan entitled Project Accountability, designed to clean up the service.
Frederick called it "just a start." Perfection is the goal, he said.
"We're going to re-evaluate at every step of the way until we get it right," Frederick said.
Change starts with every call an officer responds to, he said. "Make it professional. Make it respectable. There will be change."