An Ontario law which guarantees a steady paycheque to suspended police officers is facing increasing opposition after one cop’s sarcastic thank-you note went public.
"I am very thankful and fortunate to have received such a nice gift from [the Waterloo Regional Police Service] over the last three years," Craig Markham wrote in a March 27 email to the force's lawyer.
"You have opened up doors for me and have paid me to sit back and watch. What a dream come true,” he continued.
During his three-year suspension, the former constable collected close to a quarter of a million dollars – he was eventually forced into resignation after a lengthy investigation and court case culminated in him pleading guilty to two counts of insubordination, two counts of discreditable conduct and one count of breach of trust.
Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin – the man who decided to make Markham’s caustic note public – told CBC News that the felt let down by both the former constable and the system itself.
"It's offensive," he said. "I wouldn't say I was angry, I would say I'm disappointed or disheartened and you have to ask, how did this happen?"
Ontario is the only province in which police offers are guaranteed paid during a suspension – regardless of the situation or expected tenure. The single exception is if the suspended employee is serving time in prison.
Now, Larkin is lobbying for change – he wants Ontario’s police chiefs to be afforded the ability to suspend without pay in certain circumstances.
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