Ketcia Peters: Stop paying criminals!

Ketcia Peters

Stop paying criminals! Let our society have good cops

The province needs to prioritize the proposed amendments to the Ontario Police Services Act.

As an entrepreneur, if one of my employees does something illegal, I have the responsibility and the duty to denounce; and possibly terminate if necessary. My responsibility as a CEO is to protect my company from external and/or internal disruptions.

As CEO, I have the ability to decide if the employee would continue to earn a salary. Suspension with pay in some cases is equivalent to rewarding unethical behavior. It is plain ridiculous to continue to pay someone accused of a serious criminal offence either on or off duty under certain circumstances. I would fail in my duty to set professional standards and expectations. Financially, it does not make any sense and it does nothing to help gain public trust and confidence. Policing needs to garner both back up now more than ever.

If one does something that goes against my company or communities’ values and ethics, I could not help but to see is it as a complete failure. It isn’t fair to my employees, who earn their money through hard work and integrity. It would weigh on our organizational values and would tip the scales against the organization.

Can we all agree on this? I hope most would.

But what happens when a police officer does something illegal, gets caught and then suspended? Well, nothing, apparently. The officer continues to get paid. Sometimes for years, like nothing happened. We would not tolerate something like this in any other workplace; but in policing; it is policy and it has become a problem of epic proportions.

How do good officers feel when their own governing act fails them and rewards their ethically compromised colleagues? What consequence changes behaviors under the current system?

Is there an answer? Yes! Provide Chiefs of Police the discretion to suspend officers without pay in matters involving serious criminal offences, both off and on duty. This is especially important where corrupt practices and breaches of public trust are alleged. I appreciate the cornerstone principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” These decisions must be made carefully. In matters where suspension with pay still occur and officers are found guilty and terminated, there needs to be a means to collecting back the paid salary. When suspended without pay officers are cleared of allegations, salary should be paid retroactively.

We expect a lot of from our police officers; but we cannot let the bad ones spoil the good one’s reputations. Great officers exist. They shouldn’t suffer for the actions of the few; but all should know that there are consequences for unethical, serious criminal behavior.

Fines and penalties are necessary. Everyone in our society must adhere to laws and accept the prescribed penalties. The recently proposed Police Services Act changes need to be brought forward again. Public trust in waning. Time to build back up credibility and confidence in policing.

Let the good officers know they matter. Stop paying the criminals!

Let the rotten officers know there are consequences. Stop paying the criminals!

Ketcia Peters is an entrepreneur and community advocate for economic inclusion and development for Black Canadians and the social justice sector. Her firm, Ketcia Peters Group Inc. (KPG) provides bilingual organizational and human development services to the public and private sector.  This includes analysis and coaching of HR practices, strategic planning, organizational change, equity and inclusivity, and anti-racism. KPG also provides individual and group coaching.  In recent years, KP Group Inc. has shifted to greatly expand its equity, diversity and inclusivity work at the municipal and community level, with a focus on anti-racism and anti-oppression.  This work centers on a trauma-informed approach in order to ensure we do not cause further harm to those most marginalized in our communities. Visit her website at: https://ketciapeters.com/

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