Last November, the Ottawa Police Service Professional Standards Section (PSS) began an investigation into concerns of unsubstantiated warning tickets issued by an OPS member to the public. The allegation was that the member was entering warnings into the Records Management System without evidence or the knowledge of the driver.
To date, that investigation has resulted in two officers being suspended from duty.
PSS also proactively undertook a comprehensive audit of warning tickets issued by members in the District, Emergency Operations and Patrol Directorates. The purpose was to determine whether proper procedures were followed in the issuance of warnings.
“While the audit enabled us to determine that there were no issues related to warning tickets issued in the majority of cases; it also found evidence to warrant further investigation by PSS into the warnings issued by nine other officers,” said Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau.
Those nine officers have been placed on administrative duties while the investigation continues.
Warning tickets are an important tool in traffic enforcement. They allow officers to reinforce safety messages and record the activity of drivers who have violated rules of the road.
There are clear procedures for issuing warnings and those rules must be followed. To reinforce those procedures new quality control measures have been put in place and more measures are being examined.
“I believe in the professionalism of our members and I believe in the accountability of our Service,” said Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau. “While warning tickets do not carry a monetary fine, issuing warnings in the absence of an offence is a serious issue and it is being addressed.”