OPP officer Tasers fellow copAltercation took place at the Alliston detachment
ALLISTON – An internal police investigation is underway after a Nottawasaga OPP sergeant used a Taser on a junior officer during a recent dispute at the force’s detachment, according to information obtained by the Toronto Star.
The incident allegedly took place after the weapon was used on the officer Friday, Oct. 14 in what’s been described as an “emotionally charged dispute.”
According to police spokesperson Insp. Dave Ross with OPP Central Region Headquarters in Orillia, more than two officers were involved, however he wouldn’t confirm if the Taser was actually fired. He said the officers weren’t injured.
“It was unholstered by a member in the presence of other uniformed members during an interaction,” Ross said. “We haven’t said whether it was used or not, that’s part of the investigation.”
A Taser is an electroshock weapon used to temporarily subdue suspects with a sudden blast of electricity. Used correctly, Tasers are unlikely to cause permanent injuries.
Key details, like the names of the officers or their length of service are being withheld now that an investigation into the incident has been started by the OPP’s Professional Standards Bureau. Depending on the outcome, charges could be laid against the officer, which would result in a public hearing. But unless a public hearing is called, he said under the Police Services Act, the officers' identities will remain protected. Depending on what the investigation reveals, he said disciplinary action might also be taken, but didn’t say what that could be.
“I’m reluctant to provide descriptive details (about the officers) that could inadvertently lead to their identification given the detachment isn’t very big.”
To sort out what happened, he said police will interview other staff members who were at the detachment during the incident. Ross couldn’t say if investigators are working with security footage.
It’s expected the investigation could be completed by the end of November. Until then, he said the investigation has to run its course before further action can be taken. He said the OPP is known for its strict, professional standards, and that this “isolated incident” doesn’t speak for the majority of its members.
“I don’t think there is any reason for the public to be concerned,” he said. “We expect our officers to be professional at all times, and they are accountable to the public, to our own service…we hold them accountable to that as well. This is an isolated incident.”
Earlier today, Nottawasaga OPP Staff Sgt. Tim Melanson said the detachment won’t comment on the altercation since the investigation is being handled by Central Region.
Nottawasaga OPP services three municipalities: The Town of New Tecumseth, along with the townships of Adjala-Tosorontio and Essa. New Tecumseth Mayor Mike MacEachern chairs the Nottawasaga Police Services Board (PSB).
In an email reply, MacEachern said he had only learned of the incident this morning. He said the board was never made aware of the altercation either, even though the PSB is usually kept in the loop regarding these matters. He said it's too early in the investigation to offer comment.
"Each month we are kept informed at the Police Services Board generally if there are any disciplinary investigations happening in the detachment and the outcome of those investigations," he said. "When the facts are known in this case I may have further comment but at present it is currently under investigation and I think it would be unfair to leap to any conclusions."
OPP Association president Jim Christie told The Star the association will likely provide legal representation for both officers, since neither holds a senior management rank.
- with files from Torstar News Service http://www.simcoe.com/article/1233831-- ... fellow-cop