Want The Windsor Policing Proposal? Pay For It

Windsor Police Service has issued a fourth decision letter regarding the request for its proposal that Mayor DiCarlo advised would be made public.

The November 19 letter stated, in part, “The fee for the records requested is $26.20. This fee is in addition to the $5.00 application fee already paid and is the cost to photocopy the records (131 pages @ .20 per page).”

RECAP:

Mayor DiCarlo advised me the Windsor response would be made public.

June 6, 2018 requested Paula Parker, town clerk, provide a link to the windsor police proposal, if it’s available online, or email a copy of it.

June 6, 2018 Paula Parker advised, The Windsor Police Proposal was not posted publicly as it was submitted to the Town with a confidentiality clause attached.  If you wish to receive a copy of the proposal, you would be required to request it from Windsor Police Services directly.

Windsor Police advised I had to file an FOI request.

June 11, 2018 FOI request to Windsor Police.

July 10, 2018 Windsor Police denied access to the proposal in its entirety, citing exemptions.

July 20, 2018 Appeal submitted to Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) for two reasons: I disagreed the records are excluded from the Act and I believed more of the record should be disclosed.

August 3, 2018 Acknowledgement of Appeal from IPC.

August 29, 2018 Windsor Police revised decision letter; access is denied with added exemptions.

September 5, 2018 Notice of Mediation from the Information and Privacy Commissioner

September 12, 2018 Windsor Police; “the mediator assigned to this appeal has asked that I forward an Index of Exemptions.’ The exemptions cited corresponded with 57 pages.

November 19, 2018 Windsor Police; “during mediation of this appeal a further review of the records was conducted and partial access to the records granted.” A list of exemptions, revised November 19, was attached.

Windsor Staff Sgt. Refers To “Blue Code Of Silence”

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario continued to hear Staff Sgt. Christine Bissonnette’s allegations regarding her not being promoted to Inspector.

The Windsor Star article includes, ‘A “blue code of silence” exists in the Windsor police department which repeatedly blocked her path to reach the administrative ranks of the upper echelon, a female officer with 31 years experience testified.’

“She alleged after obtaining documents related to the oral and written interview process, scores by the three-member interview team for the various candidates on various pages were either fixed to be the same, missing or changed afterwards.”

Bullying In Policing was created in 2002 to raise awareness about such incidents.

Redacted Windsor Policing Contract

Mayor DiCarlo advised me Windsor’s response would be made public.

The red annotation in the redacted version of the contract on the town’s site is obvious:

**Schedule 1 – The full response to the Request for Proposals by the Windsor Police Service is being redacted from the public version as it is subject to a confidentiality clause. MFIPPA exemption 8.(1) Law Enforcement may apply.**

Section 8(1) is a discretionary exemption:

8 (1) A head may refuse to disclose a record if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to,

(c) reveal investigative techniques and procedures currently in use or likely to be used in law enforcement;

(e) endanger the life or physical safety of a law enforcement officer or any other person;

(g) interfere with the gathering of or reveal law enforcement intelligence information respecting organizations or persons;

(l) facilitate the commission of an unlawful act or hamper the control of crime.

The confidentiality clause was referenced in the June 2018 Ombudsman Report into council’s and the JPAC’s in camera meetings to discuss the policing RFP.

The Ombudsman concluded:

64    While I appreciate the municipality’s concerns about complying with this confidentiality clause, at the time of the committee’s meetings, there was no closed meeting exception that generally allowed a municipality to proceed in camera to protect the confidential information of a third party. However, new exceptions to the Municipal Act’s closed meeting requirements came into force on January 1, 2018, including exceptions related to information supplied in confidence. It is possible this matter may have fallen under one of the new exceptions, but they were not yet in force when the committee met. (emphasis added).

An FOI Appeal regarding Windsor’s refusal to disclose is ongoing.

Windsor Police Issues Third Letter Re Denial of Policing Proposal Request

Windsor Police Service’s denial to the proposal in its entirety is under Appeal with the Information and Privacy Commission Ontario.

Windsor Police has issued a third letter, this time enclosing an Index of the 57 pages and the corresponding sections of the Act that it deems applicable.

Just to recap:

Mayor DiCarlo advised me the Windsor response would be made public.

Paula Parker, Town Clerk, advised I would have to request it from Windsor.

Windsor Police advised I had to file an FOI request.

Windsor Police denied access to the proposal in its entirety, citing exemptions.

Windsor Police issued a second letter with added reasons to deny the request.

Windsor Police issued a third letter with an index of the reasons for its complete denial.

How does transparency and accountability apply when information is not released?

Policing Promises Not Kept

Policing costs were a hot topic in 2014 and a then-newly elected council was committed to comparing all policing options, which would have been the most fiscally responsible course of action.

As posted in How Then-Candidate Aldo DiCarlo Answered About OPP Costingthen-Mayoral candidate Aldo DiCarlo answered theburgwatch questions from residents, stating, in part:

“What I can say, what I know, is that the current board didn’t do their due diligence in acquiring the information for us to make an educated decision on what would be best for the town…information that would have been ‘free’. I would definitely acquire this information, if given the chance, and then work with the appropriate parties to achieve what’s best for the Town, or more importantly, what the Town feels is best for them.

I have recently been corrected on who is required to request the costing for OPP. I am told that the OPP costing must be requested by Council, not the Police Board. The rest of my position remains the same. There has been numerous years to request OPP costing by Council, of which there was no cost to the Town.”

Mayor DiCarlo was given the chance but did not acquire the information despite counciI’s two motions directing Administration to obtain an OPP costing and work with the OPP on the costing. Those two motions were neither implemented nor rescinded.

The Windsor Star quoted Mayor Aldo DiCarlo on the rebranding, “As much as we want to keep everything local, it has to be a competitive process,” said DiCarlo.

The police costing process should have been just as competitive to achieve the optimal savings for the ratepayers that was promised during the 2014 election campaign.

As for the assurances that all current Amherstburg officers will remain except the chief and deputy chief, no one knows how many officers will stay in Amherstburg and forego career opportunities in Windsor.

Maintaining the status quo, other than the top two hierarchical positions, superseded the promise to compare options and realize optimal savings.

Commentary by Linda Saxon

FOI Access To Windsor Policing Proposal Denied

Mayor DiCarlo advised me the OPP and Windsor responses would be made public after the consultant and steering committee reviewed the responses and council received the reports.

However, as mentioned in this post, Town Clerk Paula Parker advised I would have to request it from Windsor Police Services directly. On June 11, the Windsor Police Privacy Coordinator advised I must make an access request, pursuant to the Municipal Freedom of Information Act.

The Windsor Police Service has denied access to the proposal in its entirety, citing the following exemptions:

Law enforcement

8 (1) A head may refuse to disclose a record if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to, 

(c) reveal investigative techniques and procedures currently in use or likely to be used in law enforcement;

(e) endanger the life or physical safety of a law enforcement officer or any other person;

(g) interfere with the gathering of or reveal law enforcement intelligence information respecting organizations or persons;

(l) facilitate the commission of an unlawful act or hamper the control of crime.

Third party information

10 (1) A head shall refuse to disclose a record that reveals a trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial, financial or labour relations information, supplied in confidence implicitly or explicitly, if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to,

(a) prejudice significantly the competitive position or interfere significantly with the contractual or other negotiations of a person, group of persons, or organization;

Economic and other interests

11 A head may refuse to disclose a record that contains,

(c) information whose disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice the economic interests of an institution or the competitive position of an institution;

(f) plans relating to the management of personnel or the administration of an institution that have not yet been put into operation or made public;

(g) information including the proposed plans, policies or projects of an institution if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to result in premature disclosure of a pending policy decision or undue financial benefit or loss to a person;

Application of Act

52

(3) Subject to subsection (4), this Act does not apply to records collected, prepared, maintained or used by or on behalf of an institution in relation to any of the following:

1. Proceedings or anticipated proceedings before a court, tribunal or other entity relating to labour relations or to the employment of a person by the institution.

2. Negotiations or anticipated negotiations relating to labour relations or to the employment of a person by the institution between the institution and a person, bargaining agent or party to a proceeding or an anticipated proceeding.

3. Meetings, consultations, discussions or communications about labour relations or employment-related matters in which the institution has an interest.

Amherstburg Holds Emergency Meetings In Response To WPS Investigation

Blackburn News reported, Amherstburg’s Police Services Board meets for an emergency meeting Thursday afternoon in response to an investigation into the Windsor Police Service.

The report includes: Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, “I guess the biggest thing that has taken me back is the last minute notice from the OCPC,” says DiCarlo. “That really didn’t give us much more than a day to try and figure out what we do and so, that more than anything has got me a little upset.”

Investigation Into Windsor Police Service and Board

CBC News reported The OCPC started to receive complaints in January and opened an investigation into on May 4. The investigation is being disclosed now ahead of the push for WPS to offer policing services to Amherstburg.

The Windsor Star also reported, The investigation by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission concerns Windsor police hiring and promotional practices including alleged nepotism, allegations of a “poisoned work environment” and allegations of “improper interference in specific legal proceedings,” Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens confirmed Wednesday.

iheartradio/am800 reported

The Commission says it decided to conduct an investigation on May 4 into a number of issues, including;

  1. Whether the promotional processes, particularly to administration rank positions, are fair and transparent and whether the Board exercises appropriate oversight of those processes
  2. Whether the hiring processes relating to the potential hiring of relatives are fair and transparent
  3. Whether the board is appropriately informed about administration issues relating to its mandate, including the promotional processes involving candidates for senior administration
  4. Whether there has been improper interference in specific legal proceedings and whether any such interference has been initiated, encouraged and/or sustained by the current administration of the WPS and/or the board.
  5. Whether a poisoned work environment has been created, encouraged, and / or sustained by the current administration of WPS in relation to workplace policies and/or accommodation requests
  6. Whether the WPS has fair and transparent processes to address workplace harassment and human rights complaints
  7. Whether the board is fulfilling its statutory oversight role in relation to items 5 and 6.

Public Meeting Re Windsor Police Takeover in Amherstburg

The Windsor Star reported, “The commission deciding the fate of Amherstburg police wants to meet with residents.”

According to the article, CAO Miceli said, “Public consultation is part of the OCPC’s process,” adding the public meetings are not meant to seek community approval.

The ONTARIO CIVILIAN POLICE COMMISSION (OCPC) is not required to hold a public meeting; in fact it did not hold one in St. Marys, the model often referred to. The OCPC asked the City of St. Marys to provide a written submission setting out the proposed policing arrangement and approved it.

However, OCPC will consult with Amherstburg residents regarding council’s decision to have Windsor Police take over policing in Amherstburg.

Windsor Staff Sgt. Refers To Police Culture At HRTO Hearing

A Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario hearing was held in Windsor to decide the allegations of Staff Sgt. Christine Bissonnette, who filed a human rights complaint after not being promoted to Inspector.

The Windsor Star reported, Bissonnette argued she was just as qualified as the men who got promotions. But, she said, there is “systemic discrimination” at the force that keeps her down.

“You have to understand the culture of this organization,” she told the hearing adjudicator after the police service’s lawyer repeatedly objected to Bissonnette’s examples.

The hearing is set to resume on dates yet to be selected in April or May.