Durham police investigating YouTube video of officers trying to escape work

Matthew Coutts
Daily Brew
January 16, 2014

Three Ontario police officers are being investigated over a video appeared online, apparently depicting the disgruntled officers trying to escape their duties of monitoring a court cell block.

Durham Regional Police Service announced that the Professional Standards Unit would look into two police officers and a civilian special constable captured on video goofing around on police property while using police equipment.

The one-minute video is presented as if to be a movie trailer and, according to the Durham police, depicts three officers trying to get re-assigned out of the Court Services Branch.

A video found online that is believed to be the video in question shows three officers performing various duties in what appears to be a detention area, with an epic soundtrack playing in the background.

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The video then shows "application for transfer" documents being denied, at which point the antics increase to a frenetic pace.

In one scene, an officer is shown wielding a Taser as he walks down a corridor and another losing his police hat while he rolls under a closing car port door, a la Indiana Jones.

Image of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford pantomiming a drunk driver, and U.S. President Barack Obama waving as he boards an airplace, are sprinkled in for good measure.

Chief Const. Mike Ewles registered his disappointment to the video on Thursday, calling it embarrassing and disrespectful.

"As the Chief, I am disappointed by this on a number of levels. Our Courts Branch plays an incredibly important role in our business and I want to assure members of the community that we take this important function very seriously," Ewles said in a statement. "The safe and secure handling of people in our holding cells is a top priority for this police service. We invest heavily in training and continually review safety procedures to ensure this vitally important area is managed properly."

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One of the officers involved is a supervisor, he added. Those involved with be interviewed as part of the investigation.

Intriguingly, this is the same southern Ontario police force that came under fire during the summer during a Twitter controversy.

In August, provincial ombudsman Andre Marin reported being harassed online by a Twitter account registered to a Durham police email address. It was later revealed that an officer had used a colleague's office email account to set up the profile.

While no officers involved in that case are involved in this most recent incident, it sure does seem that antics and tomfoolery abounds in the Durham Regional Police Service.