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Ministry investigates Sarnia Police officer’s complaint, issues workplace orders

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Troy Shantz

Ontario’s Labour Ministry has issued Sarnia Police with three workplace orders in relation to a female officer’s allegations she was assaulted and harassed by a male officer.

A ministry inspector visited police headquarters on Wednesday, Oct. 28 to investigate a complaint from Staff Sergeant Jaime McCabe-Wyville. She has said she was assaulted by a fellow officer at the Christina Street headquarters, and subsequently harassed and bullied by the same officer and a second officer.

Following the visit, the inspector issued an order requiring Sarnia Police to conduct a suitable risk assessment prior to McCabe-Wyville returning to work.

The ministry also ordered police to implement a return-to-work safety plan based on that assessment.

McCabe-Wyville, a 22-year police veteran, has said she won’t return to the job until Sarnia Police put a safety plan in place.

She has called “unacceptable” a police offer to order the male officer not to speak to her. She wants the officer who allegedly assaulted and harassed her sent home.

Windsor Police were asked earlier to investigate the assault allegation. The Windsor and Essex County Crown Attorney’s Office concluded, “there would be no reasonable prospect of conviction if the police laid criminal charges,” the board has said.

Following a backlash on social media, the Sarnia Police Services Board announced last week it had hired an independent, third-party investigator to study the matter.

Helen Daniel, a Toronto labour and employment lawyer was hired in August. She is expected to file her report with recommendations in the coming weeks.

The Labour Ministry inspector issued a third workplace order Wednesday, requiring police brass to provide McCabe-Wyville with a copy of Daniel’s report when it’s done. The inspector noted a letter her employer sent in July did not meet the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

McCabe-Wyville, who is no relation to another Sarnia officer named Wyville, has been outspoken on the need for greater diversity on the largely white and male Sarnia Police force.

She is staying off work and without pay because she fears for her safety, her lawyer Gary Bennett said last week.

“The problem is the person who has made her workplace unsafe is welcomed there without any type of punishment or any type of deterrent.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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