Toronto Police Service investigates allegations of impropriety in promotions process

·3 min read
The Toronto Police Service is investigating allegations of impropriety after several officers were recently promoted. CBC Toronto has learned the investigation involves at least one high ranking officer and whether some of those applying for promotions were leaked information about the questions they might face during interviews for their promotions. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
The Toronto Police Service is investigating allegations of impropriety after several officers were recently promoted. CBC Toronto has learned the investigation involves at least one high ranking officer and whether some of those applying for promotions were leaked information about the questions they might face during interviews for their promotions. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

The Toronto Police Service says it is investigating allegations of impropriety in a human resources process in which several officers were promoted in the ranks.

Allison Sparkes, corporate communications director for Toronto police, confirmed the investigation in an email on Sunday.

According to the Toronto police website, internal disciplinary matters involving officers are heard by what is called the Tribunal, a quasi-judicial forum where the police investigate allegations of serious breaches of its code of conduct and Police Services Act.

"If the matter were to proceed to Tribunal, it would be made public in that process. Should criminal charges arise, those would also be made public by the Service," Sparkes said in the email.

So far, Toronto police say no arrests have been made and no one has been suspended.

Phones seized as part of investigation

CBC Toronto has learned the investigation involves at least one high ranking officer and whether four officers applying for promotions were leaked information about the questions they might face during interviews for their promotions.

Police sources told CBC Toronto that all four officers, as well as the high ranking officer accused of leaking information, have had their phones seized as part of the investigation.

Sources added that all four officers are no longer eligible for their promotions at this time and will report for interviews this week with internal police investigators. The four were supposed to start their sergeant training this week.

Connie Osborne, spokesperson for the police, said in an email on Monday that 120 constables were promoted this year to the rank of sergeant. She said the number of promotions fluctuates every year depending on the operational needs of the police. The process is intended to be annual and is reviewed every year.

"Applications were submitted in August and then the interview process, which is the final element, concluded in December. However, not all applicants make it to the exam or the interview process," Osborne said.

A supervisor scored all of the officers on their ability to supervise other officers. If their scores were high enough, the officers were invited to write a multiple choice exam about Toronto police practices and standards. The exam has about 100 questions.

TPA says it expects 'full and impartial investigation'

If the officers scored highly enough on the exam, they were invited to be interviewed by a board of three senior officers, usually an inspector, superintendent and staff superintendent. The interview by the board makes up about 60 per cent of the scoring process.

Police sources told CBC Toronto that several officers have been notified that they are now under investigation or are witness officers in the investigation.

The sources added that rank and file officers who did not get promoted are wondering why they were excluded.

Jon Reid, president of the Toronto Police Association, said in a statement on Monday that the association is aware of the internal investigation into allegations of misconduct in the promotional process.

"As this is an active investigation, we cannot provide a comment but we have been in touch with the Toronto Police Service. We expect a full and impartial investigation," Reid said.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting