Newest member of Windsor's police board still looking for answers after OPP review

The newest member of the Windsor Police Services board still has questions.Rino Bortolin has gone through the redacted 14-page report of the OPP review into the WPS investigation of a 911 call from the chief of police's home on Nov. 12, 2018. "A lot is redacted, so it's impossible to see everything," said Bortolin, who received a copy of the report from CBC News. "Some of the questions I was hearing from the public still stand."Bortolin said he is satisfied the OPP did look over everything necessary, and thinks some of the redacted interviews were conversations with the original 911 caller."The OPP did a good job as far as following up on what the police services board wanted to do," said Bortolin — but he will be asking to see a full, unredacted version of the report.READ the two pages of the report, released by Mayor Drew Dilkens:"I will be asking what process exists in terms of things available to me, like those reports," said Bortolin. He has recently been appointed to the police board and only attends his first meeting as a board member Thursday. Questions about process, transparencyEven with the report released to the Windsor Star and CBC (through Freedom of Information requests), as well as to members of the police board, Bortolin said there are questions about the process stemming back to November."I think what you're seeing here, one of the things I've always talked about at council, is both process and transparency," said Bortolin, referring to the conflict of interest involved with officers responding to a call at the chief's home."The process, we can call it a glitch. It is something we need to create a policy for."WATCH Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens responds Wednesday to questions about the OPP review:According to Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, the police board has communicated with other police agencies to review their existing policies should the same situation come up again. "We should say maybe if there is anything to do with the chief we do go to an outside board immediately," suggested Bortolin to Windsor Morning's Tony Doucette. "The mayor, the chair of the board has already sent requests to OPP and other agencies asking about their policies is at other agencies, what they have experienced. We are looking for information and looking for input as to what other boards are doing. I think you'll probably see a policy enacted and accepted relatively quickly."Bortolin also wants to see a communications plan put in place, should something similar happen again. "In this case the board at the time made a decision to go to an outside agency like the OPP after there was attention brought to the issue," said Bortolin. "We need to have a communications plan and policy that outlines to the public what happened."Having reviewed the report, Bortolin said there was nothing to hide — and evading questions only leads to more inquiries."As soon as you block access or as soon as you turn people away, it leads to more questions. Dealing with it in a more open manner from the get-go is a part of that transparency policy."Bortolin said answering questions when asked would have avoided any public mistrust that might exist, as well as media interest in the call. "Being honest, open and transparent would have avoided all that."

The newest member of the Windsor Police Services board still has questions.

Rino Bortolin has gone through the redacted 14-page report of the OPP review into the WPS investigation of a 911 call from the chief of police's home on Nov. 12, 2018. 

"A lot is redacted, so it's impossible to see everything," said Bortolin, who received a copy of the report from CBC News. 

"Some of the questions I was hearing from the public still stand."

Bortolin said he is satisfied the OPP did look over everything necessary, and thinks some of the redacted interviews were conversations with the original 911 caller.

"The OPP did a good job as far as following up on what the police services board wanted to do," said Bortolin — but he will be asking to see a full, unredacted version of the report.

READ the two pages of the report, released by Mayor Drew Dilkens:

"I will be asking what process exists in terms of things available to me, like those reports," said Bortolin. He has recently been appointed to the police board and only attends his first meeting as a board member Thursday. 

Questions about process, transparency

Even with the report released to the Windsor Star and CBC (through Freedom of Information requests), as well as to members of the police board, Bortolin said there are questions about the process stemming back to November.

"I think what you're seeing here, one of the things I've always talked about at council, is both process and transparency," said Bortolin, referring to the conflict of interest involved with officers responding to a call at the chief's home.

"The process, we can call it a glitch. It is something we need to create a policy for."

WATCH Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens responds Wednesday to questions about the OPP review:

According to Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, the police board has communicated with other police agencies to review their existing policies should the same situation come up again. 

"We should say maybe if there is anything to do with the chief we do go to an outside board immediately," suggested Bortolin to Windsor Morning's Tony Doucette. 

"The mayor, the chair of the board has already sent requests to OPP and other agencies asking about their policies is at other agencies, what they have experienced. We are looking for information and looking for input as to what other boards are doing. I think you'll probably see a policy enacted and accepted relatively quickly."

Bortolin also wants to see a communications plan put in place, should something similar happen again. 

"In this case the board at the time made a decision to go to an outside agency like the OPP after there was attention brought to the issue," said Bortolin. "We need to have a communications plan and policy that outlines to the public what happened."

Having reviewed the report, Bortolin said there was nothing to hide — and evading questions only leads to more inquiries.

"As soon as you block access or as soon as you turn people away, it leads to more questions. Dealing with it in a more open manner from the get-go is a part of that transparency policy."

Bortolin said answering questions when asked would have avoided any public mistrust that might exist, as well as media interest in the call. 

"Being honest, open and transparent would have avoided all that."