This is "Damn Street Racer" Number FIVE from the OPP!
http://www.windsorstar.com/Lead+footed+ ... story.htmlThe OPP officer who ran a stop sign and crashed his police cruiser ÃƒÂ¢Ã‚â‚¬Ã‚â€ while allegedly doing nearly double the speed limit ÃƒÂ¢Ã‚â‚¬Ã‚â€ remains on duty and could even return to the road helping catch speeders.
Const. Kristopher Gagnier, 26, an Essex County officer for three years, was charged with street racing after crashing his marked cruiser into a Kingsville ditch.
When Gagnier ran the stop sign at a T-intersection on Graham Side Road, he was allegedly going 157 km/h in an 80 km/h zone. He was on duty at the time of the high-speed crash, but not responding to a call.
The Highway Traffic Act dictates that the OPP cruiser he was driving will be impounded for seven days. Gagniers drivers licence was also suspended for seven days. But that doesnt necessarily bar him from patrolling the roads.
"He just cant drive for seven days," said Sgt. David Rektor with the OPP western region headquarters.
"There are other options available to members. They can be the second officer in the vehicle and assist that way. But driving is out of the question for the seven-day period."
Police said the single vehicle crash happened around 9:30 p.m. Thursday when Gagnier, on routine patrol, failed to stop at the intersection of Graham Side Road and Road 7.
Rektor said he didnt know what the cost of damage was to the car, but added there was "extensive front end damage." He also didnt know if the officer will have to pay for the repairs or if taxpayers will be on the hook.
More than 15,000 drivers have been charged with street racing since the law was introduced in 2007.
Rektor said Gagnier is the first Essex officer to be charged, but several other OPP officers elsewhere in the province have been charged while on duty.
Gagniers first appearance in provincial court is scheduled for Jan. 4. Rektor said Monday it was too soon to know if there will be a separate investigation under the Police Services Act, a provincial act governing the conduct of police officers.
"We have to abide by the same laws, rules and regulations that a citizen would," said Rektor. "However, were also subject to considerations under the Police Services Act."
"Weve got high standards of conduct and professionalism that we expect from our officers in order that we can honour the public trust were given. Thats why the Police Services Act is there. It offers the ability to ensure our people are holding up their responsibilities."
Rektor said its not acceptable for an officer to shirk those responsibilities.
"The OPP holds our members accountable for their actions," he said. "Public trust and confidence is the cornerstone of what we do. Without it, were lost. When you accept this position of trust, you accept a lot of responsibility. You have to know that people expect you to lead by example. Thats the message our commissioner, right from the onset of this, has made clear. The OPP will lead by example and be held accountable."
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Ha! This taxpayer thinks he knows...He also didnt know if the officer will have to pay for the repairs or if taxpayers will be on the hook.
War does not determine who is right, only who is left.
At most collisions these days civilians get to go to the Collision Reporting Center, no charges are laid and life moves forward.
Officers like this fellow, have a police investigation, get charged, also get charged under the Police Service Act for Discreditable Conduct and generally demoted (loss of pay of about $10,000) for a year, this prevents them from promotion for 5 years (~$10,000 per year) and having raised the ire of their commands staff don't get considered for placement in specialty units.
I suppose we should expect officers to be perfect, and to some degree we do. Or at least to some degree, lead by example.
But they are people too. We all forget that too often. I could see if this was an incredibly rare scenario we could say bad cop! But it happens from time to time so perhaps we have to accept that they are people and people often use bad judgement. We all do, otherwise this forum wouldn't exist (I think it was good judgment to implement www.ohta.ca, but it's here cause we often use bad judgement! LOL!)
And way too many people here spout about police being 'Judge, Jury and Executioner', I have to laugh at this. There isn't any sanction that an officer can hand out that isn't subject to proper judicial review. There has never once in the history of Canada has an officer been a judge, even sat on a jury (they are exempt from jury duty) and well, we haven't had an executioner in decades. So let's chill with the hyperbole...
I think a lot of people get upset cause they believe officers get away with stuff...having spent 22 years in policing I can assure you officers face more discipline than the public sees. For things the public wouldn't get punished for.
When these officers are punished it's seldom lightly, but internal discipline doesn't often make the papers.
The entire concept of law is to punish bad behaviour and in doing so act as a deterent to others.
In many places in the world stealing results in getting your hand lopped off...pretty severe huh? And yet people continue to steal in these countries...so no matter the punishment people will be people.
It's the same with the HTA, no matter how severe the punishments, people will speed, drive carelessly, talk & text etc...
So the best system we have is progressive discipline, i.e. points, insurance rates and suspensions.
I'm certain this officer was sanctioned, in fact I'm sure it was severe.
Police administrators are very embarassed by this type of boneheaded driving and the resulting publicity and monetary costs. They punish severely.
I suppose we could argue that he should be fired. But that doesn't fit into progressive discipline as adopted under the Police Services Act, a government regulation.
Don't get me wrong, aside from punishments, he has set himself up for dismissal should he do something this dumb again.
Would you get canned from you job at Pizza Pizza etc for doing this? Yes!
But they could can you for being late to work once.
That's not how government (and because of that employees of all levels of government have certain rights and we all know how many people cling to their 'rights' in court) works.
In the end, this appears to be a dumb-dumb head move which I am 100% that was punished.
Moreso than if you had been driving.
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