Chief of Police and Sarnia Police Services Board Ongoing Investigation Update

As referenced in our media release of February 2, 2021, an independent third party investigator, Helen Daniel, recently conducted an impartial investigation into allegations of harassment, discrimination and workplace violence by Staff Sergeant Jaime McCabe-Wyville of the Sarnia Police Service (SPS).

As outlined, the outcome of that investigation concluded that there was no evidence of harassment, discrimination or workplace violence.

The Sarnia Police Services Board (SPSB) has been advised not to release the investigation report based on a number of factors including our obligation to maintain the privacy of all witnesses in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), as well as maintaining the integrity of the process given that this matter is the subject of litigation.

Since the release of the conclusions and recommendations of the Daniel Report, there have been several media reports and social media posts, and it is highly unfortunate and regrettable that some of those involved in the investigation have been identified publicly.

Further, there have been comments made alleging that the SPS offered money to Staff Sergeant McCabe-Wyville to withdraw her complaints, which is a misconstruction of the facts. In the normal and standard process of labour relations and process of expeditiously resolving disputes in the workplace, an Employer will often make attempts at early resolution on a without prejudice basis. However, these discussions are confidential and it is extremely disappointing that such conversations have not only been disclosed, but also misconstrued.

In response to comments with respect to Staff Sergeant McCabe-Wyville’s discontinuation of salary, I can state these decisions were outside the purview of this Administration and were in fact decisions made by two external third party organizations.

Additionally, there have been allegations in some media reports that actions by this Administration are reprisals against the complainant. However, it remains our position that the activities of Staff Sergeant McCabe-Wyville on social and print media are serious breaches and in contravention of the Code of Conduct, the Administrative Regulations, and the Police Services Act.

The multiple investigations regarding the allegations made by Staff Sergeant McCabe-Wyville were a three-part process.

The process began with an investigation by the Windsor Police Service which obtained extremely limited information based on Staff Sergeant McCabe-Wyville’s accusations. Her statements were then put before the Windsor-Essex Crown Attorney’s Office with respect to allegations of criminal assault and criminal harassment. The Windsor-Essex Crown Attorney’s Office concluded there was no reasonable prospect of conviction as a result of a number of factors including, the prior history between the complainant and the respondent, the delay in reporting the charge, the presence of a motive to fabricate, and the minor nature of the alleged assault.

The Windsor Police Service investigation was followed by an independent third party investigation into the allegations of workplace harassment, discrimination, and workplace violence by the highly respected lawyer and workplace investigator Helen Daniel, in response to a number of grievances.

The third step in this process is for myself, as Chief of the SPS, to review all information provided through the two previously noted investigations and consider if any Police Service Act (PSA) charges are required to be issued.

In accordance with the PSA, there are strict timelines that must be adhered to regarding our obligations for issuing any such charges, and as a result, there have already been notices served upon several employees within the SPS, based upon the Daniel Report, and more are forthcoming. In the coming weeks, investigations will be conducted, and pending the results of these investigations, disciplinary action may result.

In addition, the possibility of any Criminal Code charges will be explored with the Crown Attorney’s Office.

While the SPSB maintains its position not to release the full Daniel Report, we can confirm that the independent third party investigation was comprehensive, spanning over four months and included interviewing a vast number of witnesses.

Further, in partnership with the Sarnia Police Association and Ministry of Labour, the parties have successfully addressed a number of issues that were identified and continue to work together.

I also confirm than an Arbitration date of April 1st has been set for the McCabe-Wyville grievances, following the conclusion of which, we will be in position to provide information and results publicly.

The SPSB and I fully acknowledge the challenges and opportunities that the Administration, in partnership with the Association, have before us to successfully address the findings and recommendations from the Daniel Report.

We have full confidence in our ability to create a more respectful workplace while strengthening the values of equity and diversity in collaboration with the Sarnia Police Association.

Chief Norm Hansen

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