London Police Chief John Pare said his force remains committed to transparency in the wake of seven officers who have been criminally charged.
Speaking at a 1 p.m. news conference Friday at police headquarters, Pare said they’ll notify the public each time an officer is criminally charged.
Pare was responding to a controversy about how police released information in cases where officers were charged with criminal offences.
“Breaking the very laws that we are sworn to uphold is absolutely not acceptable. I’m extremely disappointed, and I pledge to Londoners that I will continue to hold any member found to be breaching the trust we are empowered with to account,” said Pare.
“We strive to be as transparent as possible, but it must be recognized that these cases are all before the courts, so I am not able to, and will not be commenting on the specifics of any of the charges.”
There were press releases issued immediately for all but two of the cases.
Two officers face charges following Special Investigations Unit (SIU) probes, while five others are a result of investigations the London Police Service launched itself.
“On November 23rd, a media release was issued regarding an officer that will not be named. Doing so would violate our policy to protect the identity of victims of domestic or sexual related crimes, both here in London and in other jurisdictions,” said Pare.
At the time of that media release, an unidentified 41-year-old officer was charged with sexual assault after a woman came forward with allegations about an incident that occurred while the officer was off-duty.
Waterloo Regional Police laid additional charges of criminal harassment, being unlawfully in a dwelling, and making a harassing phone call.
Pare said the charges are not indicative of the 600 other London police officers who he said serve with “integrity and compassion.”
The sentiment was echoed by police services board chair Jeanette Eberhard.
“The alleged actions of these officers are not representative of this organization, or the values for which it stands. Values which include fairness, integrity, honesty, and respect for human dignity.”
Despite a commitment to transparency, neither Pare nor Eberhard responded to questions from the media.