New police law to restore trust and respect

New police law to restore trust and respect

By MPP Toby Barrett

To The Haldimand Press

Every day our police do incredible work to keep our families safe. Often, this work is silent, preventative, and unseen. Sometimes it requires police to put themselves in harm’s way and make difficult life-or-death decisions in the blink of an eye. But no matter what, we can count on our police for protection.

I’d like to take this opportunity to express my support for law enforcement, as well as reinforce government’s unbending commitment to the health and well-being of our province’s first responders. There is no doubt that the incredible contributions police officers make keep our families, streets, and back roads safe.

That being said, imagine being a police officer asked to work in a system that doesn’t trust you. You face automatic investigation for doing your job, including trying to save a life. Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigations hang over you for months on end. You’re not entitled to a fair hearing when facing discipline; fairness is not even a principle of the system. The present system is opaque, convoluted, and lacks transparency.

It is a system that serves no one. It makes the jobs of police officers, police chiefs, and police services boards more complicated. And it makes people feel less safe, less secure, and further removed from their police. It drives a wedge between the police and the public.

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