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Cop suspended with Pay, HTA 172

Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 11:25 pm
by BelSlySTi
Exactly why this law is GARBAGE

Another OPP SGT abusing his power, this is the second OPP SGT charged this month with serious charges, both are suspended with PAY, while awaiting their day in court.

I hope the VICTIMS of this crooked cops abuse, seek legal counsel, and sue the a$$ off the Province and the good ole SGT himself!

OPP Officer Charged For Allegedly Falsifying Traffic Stops
Friday May 29, 2009 Staff
The OPP have arrested and suspended one of their own, after an officer was accused of laying charges against three different drivers for speeding or violating the new street racing law based on false evidence.

One was accused of exceeding the posted limit, while the other two were alleged to have violated the province's street racing law and had their licences suspended and their cars temporarily seized. The OPP Professional Standards Bureau won't say how they came across the accusations but admits all charges against the trio have since been withdrawn.

Insp. Dave Ross won't say what the motive might have been.

The allegations make other stops Sgt. Dennis Mahoney-Bruer may have been involved with suspect as well and a review of all his past cases is underway. Ross tells that could keep investigators busy for a while - as many as 200 provincial cases and 50 criminal cases are being given a second look.

The 49-year-old cop has been a member of the force for 12 years and is based in Port Credit. His primary patrol area is the QEW and Highway 403.

The accused has been suspended from duty with pay and will appear in a Brampton court on July 13th. He's charged with three counts of breach of trust and one of obstructing justice.

Commissioner Julian Fantino, often cited as a 'cop's cop,' is disappointed by the outcome but says it's vital the public knows he won't stand for anything untoward in the ranks.

"It was important for the OPP to initiate an immediate investigation and a comprehensive review, with the intent to bolster safeguards, to prevent similar situations in the future," he notes in a statement. "I believe that the public trust is a fundamental cornerstone of the OPP and policing."

If you think you were unfairly stopped by this officer and have a complaint to make, call (905) 278-6131.

And then there is this feel good article!

When Jason Stainthorpe was caught speeding on his way to church last Sunday, he figured the worst he was facing was a hefty ticket and some heat from his fiancee for being late.

Instead, he wound up stranded by the side of the highway, desperately trying to figure out how to tell her he'd just lost his licence and her SUV for a week, faced a fine that could run into the thousands and might no longer be able to afford his auto insurance.

He didn't realize it at the time, but doing 50 over the speed limit – 150 km/h on a highway with a posted limit of 100 km/h – meant Stainthorpe had run afoul of a stringent new speeding law in Ontario, billed as a tough measure to combat street racing.

Stainthorpe joined the more than 1,300 drivers who have been nailed since the new law took effect on Sept. 30, all of whom were off the road for a week and faced the possibility of a staggering fine that ranges between $2,000 and $10,000.

The ranks of those caught under the new law are hardly the street-racing type: They run the gamut from teenaged girls to elderly men and just about every demographic in between.

The most common age of offenders has been 21, the average age is 30, and half the charges have been laid against drivers 26 and under. About 13 of the drivers were 65 or older, and 41 were 17 or younger. Almost 84 per cent were male and 16 per cent were female.

When police lobbied for the new law, they expected the province's most aggressive drivers would get caught and hopefully learn a lesson. They didn't anticipate the number of charges would be so high and represent every segment of the driving public.

Stainthorpe, a 33-year-old registered nurse, admitted he was speeding, but was furious that police wouldn't let him off with a warning since he had never heard of the new law.

"I certainly would not have been doing 50 over if I knew this was going to happen to me," he fumed as he waited for police to finish his paperwork on the side of Highway 403 in Mississauga.

"I have three kids, I have to go to work for a week and they just do not give a *EDIT*. They have no sympathy for people and it's unfair and they treat people like *EDIT*."

About an hour after a shell-shocked Stainthorpe tried to come to grips with his dilemma, police stopped another vehicle going 155 km/h on the same highway – this time a 34-year-old woman with three pre-teen kids in the car.

"Look, I was speeding," said the inconsolable woman, who declined to give her name, as she waited for a taxi.

"I expected a ticket, and then I was like, `Oh, *EDIT*.' I did not expect to have my car towed and have them leave my nephews and I no way to get home."

She told the officers on the scene she was driving a brand new car, and didn't feel her speed climbing until she heard the sirens behind her.

Ontario police Sgt. Dennis Mahoney-Bruer has heard that excuse too many times, and after hearing the same thing over and over – he's even watched grown men bawl their eyes out in front of him – his sympathy is wearing thin.

"A little indication (is) if you're going down the highway and you're passing everybody – hello, chances are you're speeding," Mahoney-Bruer said, before adding that some excuses do tug on his heart strings and make him pause before calling a tow truck.

"We're all human, we all have a certain amount of feelings . . . but we have that rule now and we're really sticking to it. We really want to get the message to the people out there that you're not going to talk your way out of this."

The relentless blitz on speeders – dubbed a "shock-and-awe" campaign by provincial police Commissioner Julian Fantino – is likely catching drivers by surprise because people often don't acknowledge that they act dangerously on the road, said Spencer McDonald, the founder of Thinking Driver, a road-safety program designed for people who drive for a living.

"Culturally we all have a higher opinion of our own driving than it actually is, thinking we're better than we really are," McDonald said.

"If you go speeding down the road you can say, `Well, I'm not a bad person, or I'm not an idiot, I'm just simply late for a meeting,' but when the guy speeds past you down the road, he's an idiot."

A forthcoming report from Transport Canada also finds that most drivers don't recognize their own bad habits, and the unfortunate power they have to kill with their car, said Paul Boase of the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals.

"For a very long time, speeding – while illegal – was not really treated as a problem," Boase said.

"When people thought about speed and risk, they thought about the risk of getting caught, but the real risk is hitting someone."

And because the new law is classified as a street-racing offence, Boase said many drivers don't believe they're being targeted by police and think they can continue to speed at will.

"There's definitely this perception that street racing is a real serious problem and we ought to hit those people hard, but drivers say, `That's not me, even if I'm doing 50 over that's not me because I'm not racing, I'm just trying to get home."'

There's no doubt some of the offenders are habitual speeders, but it's also likely that some of them were simply unlucky, and were caught using bad judgment that may not reflect their normal driving style, McDonald said.

"Most people are sane, responsible, law-abiding drivers, but they will – when placed under stressful or difficult circumstances – make inappropriate decisions and expose themselves to excessive risk."

While an average of 35 drivers continue to get nabbed every day – and that average has dipped only slightly since the law took effect – many have wised up and are now remaining just below the 150 km/h threshold, Mahoney-Bruer said.

"The last two night shifts when I went out exclusively looking for 50 km/h and above I had none," he said. "The highest speed I had was 48 over, so definitely the knowledge is getting out there."

Brian Lawrie, president of Pointts, which bills itself as Canada's original and most successful traffic court agency, said the new law may bring him more business, but he considers it a bad idea that could cost someone their job because of human error or an equipment malfunction.

"It sounds good to everybody that doing 50 over should be punished right on the spot, but where does the presumption of innocence go when you do that?" Lawrie said.

"When we finally find out that . . . the person is found not guilty, then who gives them their job back?"

Ontario's new transportation minister, Jim Bradley, said he has no qualms about the law and rejects the idea that most people don't know about it.

"I see signs on the highway about it, it's been in the newspaper, it's been on the radio, it's been on television," he said.

"I think people know. It's an excuse that people try to use, and it's never an excuse not to know what the law is."

Whos Bawling now Dennis?

Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 11:52 pm
by Radar Identified
He allegedly falsified evidence on three traffic stops, two of which resulted in people having their cars seized and the victims had to pay likely thousands of dollars that they'll never see again?! If true, he should at least lose his job if not spend some time in the Don Jail!!

Posted: Sat May 30, 2009 9:09 am
by PetitionGuy
this is in no way a shock to all of us who saw this coming back when Frank Klees emotionally drafted his ill-thought private members bill, blaming his drunk driving constituent's death on a pair of young guys speeding through an intersection

terrible law.....and the endless stories in the media keep proving it over and over

Posted: Sat May 30, 2009 12:20 pm
by M0J0
Enjoy the media coverage on this, it's all we are going to hear about it.

I would assume he's happy he gets his day in court and is now on a 6 week paid vacation.

Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 6:36 pm
by pinch
Are police officers with a criminal record allowed to keep their job in Ontario?

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:57 am
by tdrive2
Suspended with pay :shock: ?

I guess that goes along the line, of running a poorly mis managed company for years, taking excessive risk, and then getting billions in Tax payer money?

Anyways neat. That detachment in Port Credit is very strange, i was thinking corrupt but that may be to much.

They like the 403 alot thats for sure.

Some of these officers here are a terrible example though. In Mississauga some of them will exceed 130 "not on call."

I wonder how many tickets will be recalled. I remember reading on another forum on the QEW near that detachment where a guy was going 120 in the 80 zone with the construction and the guy said he was going 140 and took his license and car with a 60 over.....

Again really looks bad when more of your officers are going faster then 150 and violating your new laws.

We never even heard what happened to Heidi Fischer. Every officer that has been charged with it has gotten off with nothing and paid to boot!

Who was before her Tapp? And the guy going 180 from Toronto to peterborough.

The officer's going 50 over never even make the big news now.

Our speed limit is going to be like the new cell phone laws. No one is gonna listen. I see cops all the time talking on their phones still.

I guess this will be a similar thing to exceeding the speed limit on the highway. They're just will be a law there for the hell of it, it will be randomly enforced, if you enforce the law all the time its not realistic,.....

I guess they'll just enforce it some of the time like in school zones, if your doing something else dangerous.

Can you imagine pulling someone over for every time you saw it. They would never get anything done!

Terrible time to bring the law in to after people have been doing it for years. Can you imagine if the OPP wrote a ticket for every person going 120 on a 400 series in the GTA region?

I guess this will be the same thing. Just some law no one listens to, even the police, and is just randomly enforced whenever they feel like it should be applied, want to do it, or have the time to???

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:31 am
by hwybear
tdrive2 wrote:Our speed limit is going to be like the new cell phone laws. No one is gonna listen. I see cops all the time talking on their phones still.
Police are exempt!

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:55 am
by Reflections
hwybear wrote:
tdrive2 wrote:Our speed limit is going to be like the new cell phone laws. No one is gonna listen. I see cops all the time talking on their phones still.
Police are exempt!
Not to be pointing a finger, but what training do the police have that allow them to concentrate on 2 tasks at the same time??? Unless the phone are used while in pursuits, relaying information for a call, i'd like to see them hands free as well.

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:37 pm
by hwybear
We are trained from day one at OPC in PVO (police vehicle operations). Multi tasking is pretty much the whole course. Maintaining control of the car (skids, braking, turning, speeds), rules of the road, radio, lights, etc.

Once a recruit comes out, they are then placed with a coach officer for further in depth multi-tasking issues radio, phones, computers, radar, observation skills, etc..

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:43 pm
by tdrive2
Just a question.

An officer gets accused of something like this (pretty bad)

If he is found guilty i assume he will be removed from the force?

I can understand the paid suspension (because he still has his right to a fair trial and is guilty until proven innocent) Something Julian Fantino doesn't understand!

But if he was found guilty would he loose the "paid vacation" he received for this?

I hope this is taken very seriously. If this is true this officer has screwed tons of people over in tickets, insurance costs, and demerit points.

Let's say you got caught for 140 and he accused of doing 150. Who is gonna foot the bill for the insurance increase this person faced for being wrongly accused?

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:57 pm
by ticketcombat
I can't help but note the irony that the officer got to judge people at roadside and apply penalty. Meanwhile he gets the benefit of the doubt and time off with pay pending his court hearing!

I've observed OPP/police tows where the storage charge is $80/day. It should be around $20 so there's obviously some kickbacks in the system. I suspect this officer just decided to help the kickbacks flow more freely by charging more vehicles regardless of speed. The law gives enough leeway to charge almost anyone with stunt driving.

This reminds me of our discussion about Toronto Police getting paid overtime to go to court. You need to issue a lot of tickets to generate some overtime since less than 15% fight their tickets. Toronto officers started to actively encourage people to fight their tickets at roadside in order to generate the court appearance and overtime.

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:41 pm
by FiReSTaRT
Bear, I'd just like to hear your perspective on 172 based on this outcome (that many people along with myself predicted), since you seemed to be for this law based on your faith in your colleagues' integrity, ability to observe the incident and interpret the law... It only takes a small number of corrupt cops to ruin it for everyone. This guy screwed at least 3 people over that we know of under the indictment and who knows how many more (as we'll find out once the investigation's done). While corrupt cops are a very small minority, I sincerely doubt he's the only one and who knows how many people got screwed over by other like-minded scum. That's not even counting the cops who acted in good faith, but either misinterpreted the law or the situation, with equal results. The way I see it is that this law imposes heavy penalties on mere accusation and is against the spirit of our legal system.

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:54 pm
by hwybear
FiReSTaRT wrote:Bear, I'd just like to hear your perspective on 172 .
I've mentioned my thoughts prior.
That it should mirror the 90 day ADLS. That is that the licence is suspended (7 days) and the person is charged and given a court date.

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:02 pm
by FiReSTaRT
While that measure would resolve the corruption issues (like possible kickbacks from towing contractors), it would still leave error (misjudged the situation and/or the law) and personal (failed the attitude test) issues open. While the official doctrine of "privilege, not a right" may look good on paper, the bottom line is that an error or a vindictive cop can leave a person without his/her livelihood. Taking the transit to school or work is not an option across most of Ontario (not to mention the professional drivers, who would be screwed wherever they live) and thus a person can be left without education or livelihood due to a misinterpretation or a constable just having a bad day.
Yes, you guys are trained well to make tough decisions on the fly, but jerks and incompetents find their way into every profession. Even a good cop makes the occasional mistake. That's why we have courts as additional safeguards to make it less likely that innocent people suffer. On some of my previous jobs, telling the boss that I couldn't drive for a week would have got me fired on the spot.

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:26 pm
by admin
Radar Identified wrote:He allegedly falsified evidence on three traffic stops, two of which resulted in people having their cars seized and the victims had to pay likely thousands of dollars that they'll never see again?!
If he is found guilty, couldn't the victims of his falsified evidence sue the government or police force for compensation??

I can't even imagine having my car impounded, especially if it was based on falsified evidence by the cop and for no reason at all!