THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Police Services Act charges could be pending against several Thunder Bay Police Association leaders and a TBPS Sergeant. The Thunder Bay Police Association is the equivalent of a union for police officers.
The Thunder Bay Police Services Board has granted an extension in serving a notice of hearing regarding charges against Police Association president and TBPS Constable Colin Woods, Vice President Staff, TBPS Sergeant Shawn Harrison and TBPS Sergeant Justin Dubuc regarding what the Police Services Board in a media statement says are allegations of misconduct.
While the Police Services Act requires that a board decision on an application for notice of hearing is required to be served in six months, an exemption can be granted in certain situations.
The PSB states that, “Upon a review of evidence provided, in the Board’s opinion, the six month period began shortly after November 4, 2021. On this date, the Chief became aware of the allegations and internal investigations were undertaken. It was determined that the allegations warranted an investigation. The internal investigation took approximately three months to complete”.
It was recommended to the Board by the Chief that an outside police agency conduct the Police Services Act investigation in February 2022. The Board then approved that recommendation on March 22, 2022.
On March 23, 2022, arrangements were made to have the Hamilton Police Service conduct the Police Services Act investigation. On June 21, 2022 the Hamilton Police Service returned its investigative report substantiating the allegations.
Malcolm Mercer who is in charge of the Police Services Board, in a letter send August 3, 2022 wrote, “Further to the application made by letter dated July 4, 2022, I write to advise that, for the attached reasons, the Thunder Bay Police Services Board is of the opinion that it was reasonable, under the circumstances, to delay serving the notice of hearing in respect of charges against Staff Sergeant Shawn Harrison, Sergeant Justin Dubuc and Constable Colin Woods”.
In the decision, Mercer wrote, in a report on August 23, 2022, “There is a significant public interest in the allegations against the officers proceeding fairly. While I have some doubt that making the submissions public will compromise procedural fairness, my opinion is that disclosure of the s. 83(17) decision and the s. 83(17) reasons provide sufficient transparency such that procedural unfairness need not be put at potential risk. Further, the provisions of the Police Services Act will and should govern in respect of the proceeding against the officers”.
Mercer added, “The Hamilton Police Service reported substantiating allegations of insubordination and discreditable conduct against the officers.”
None of the allegations have been proven.