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Ottawa police officers charged with taking bribes from tow truck owners

dapaterson

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Three Ottawa police officers are facing charges for allegedly sharing information and taking kickbacks from a towing company, following an RCMP investigation.

One of the three is a former CAF member - a picture (in the article below) shows him with GCS-SWA with two bars, GCS-EXP, CPSM, NATO-Kosovo, CD, close protection, white jump wings and the special operations basic qualification badge.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/three-ottawa-police-officers-charged-in-tow-truck-corruption-probe/
 

lenaitch

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It's an astonishingly slimy industry, particularly in the Ottawa and GTA/Hamilton area.  It is a favourite haunt of all sorts of criminal enterprises, including traditional, OMG and ethnic.  Over the past few months, tow trucks have mysteriously been going up in flames around the GTA and a couple have been shot.  They try to promote the image that they are emergency responders on par with police, fire and EMS.  If the charges prove out, it would seem they are on par with a couple of coppers anyway.
 

mariomike

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lenaitch said:
They try to promote the image that they are emergency responders on par with police, fire and EMS. 

See also,

March 05, 2020, Kitchener, Ontario

The ruling by Justice of the Peace James Ziegler determined that all car crashes are emergencies and that when tow-trucks arrive before police, fire or paramedics they must be considered emergency personnel.
https://www.deutschmannlaw.com/blog/post/tow-truck-operators-are-first-responders-and-may-be-closer-than-200-metres-to-an-accident-if-no-other-first-responders-have-arrived

I think they always arrived before we did.  Lot more of them. :)



 

BeyondTheNow

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Very disheartening to hear.

I’m reminded a little of S. Korea. Although I can’t imagine us ever arriving at their extreme, it’s still troubling to hear if these types of situations here in Canada.

Tow trucks there have light bars, sirens and race to accident scenes as quickly as possible through intersections and whatnot—first one there gets the gig. (Which is scary in and of itself, because their style of driving is nowhere near what a Canadian would be accustomed to and this adds yet another element to be aware of when navigating their roads.) It’s highly competitive and a driver gets paid by the call. Accounts and rumours of ‘brown envelopes’ being passed around between law/traffic enforcement, medical crews and truck drivers is common-place. It’s cut-throat.

I’m not sure of their legalities in terms of these types of scenarios, as theirs is a culture where brown envelopes are passed around frequently in varying types of business interactions to help secure certain transactions. And this practice is treated as common knowledge.
 

garb811

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From the article:
...
Justice Ziegler went on to state that when tow-truck operators are the first on scene they provide a role in the preservation of the scene and the safety of those involved in accidents until police and other emergency personnel arrive.
...
Preservation... :rofl:...of the scene... :rofl:...  :rofl:  Sure, if preserving the scene means getting the vehicle hooked up ASAP so the driver can't change their mind about using their services.  :clubinhand:

There's a lot of low level stuff with tow companies, so I can see how easy and tempting it would be to get hooked if you weren't totally above board. I've been posted to a couple of places where we would tow a lot of cars off of DND property and in each of those places, there were...incentives...to try to keep doing business with the same company. One company used to give you a business card with a special number to call if you ever needed a tow so they made sure you got the "discounted rate". One guy I knew used it and they charged him nothing for what should have been at least a $100 tow. Another would drop off "gift baskets" for special occasions, like Christmas, Easter, July 17th, the first Monday of a month where the moon would rise in the East...  Due to this we had tick sheets with all of the local companies alphabetically, when you called one, you ticked it off and the next call would go to the next company down.
 

Jarnhamar

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If found guilty of those charges is that enough to fire those officers?

 

mariomike

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BeyondTheNow said:
It’s highly competitive and a driver gets paid by the call.

And, they took the same risks we did,
"Slow Down, Move Over": If you see an emergency vehicle or a tow truck with its amber lights flashing stopped facing the same direction you are going, slow down and pass with caution.
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/emergency-vehicles.shtml
 

garb811

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Jarnhamar said:
If found guilty of those charges is that enough to fire those officers?
It is and they would be. Even if found not guilty they would still likely face a hearing under the Police Services Act and that could lead to them being fired as well.
 

Walt

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The annual pay for an entry level constable starts at $68,000, plus the added benefit of overtime & special duty pay. Annual pay increases are very generous, and far exceed those within most of the private sector. I guess that greed trumps loyalty and conscience. If found guilty, I hope that they are marched out in disgrace with a criminal record.
 

exspy

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Walt said:
The annual pay for an entry level constable starts at $68,000, plus the added benefit of overtime & special duty pay.

When I became a new Constable in 1980 my annual salary was $19,000 dollars. I thought I was a millionaire.

Cheers,
Dan.
 

Ostrozac

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Dan M said:
When I became a new Constable in 1980 my annual salary was $19,000 dollars. I thought I was a millionaire.

Cheers,
Dan.

The Bank of Canada inflation calculator puts $19,000 in 1980 as equivalent to $61,000 in 2020. So in real terms a new Constable making $68,000 has about a ten percent pay raise over what you made back in the day.  It's certainly more, but it's in the same ballpark. Did you get overtime pay back in the day? That can certainly be a real game changer.
 

mariomike

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Walt said:
The annual pay for an entry level constable starts at $68,000, plus the added benefit of overtime & special duty pay.

It adds up. For example, in 2019, a Toronto Police constable  was paid $295,256.93 .

 

Good2Golf

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mariomike said:
It adds up. For example, in 2019, a Toronto Police constable  was paid $295,256.93 .

That’s going to be a lot of OT and paid duty!  Did that CST (and others above 100k) show up in the Ontario Sunshine list?
 

lenaitch

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(Apologies - I could figure out how to do multiple attributed quotes in one message)

The ruling by Justice of the Peace James Ziegler determined that all car crashes are emergencies and that when tow-trucks arrive before police, fire or paramedics they must be considered emergency personnel.

A lot of weird rulings come out of POA court.  Many, like this, should be appealed but MAG just lets them lie.  Thankfully, they create no precedence.

I’m reminded a little of S. Korea.  Tow trucks there have light bars, sirens . . .

So does Missouri if you have a permit from the State Police.  I believe Saskatchewan recently allowed tow trucks to display blue lights.

"Slow Down, Move Over": If you see an emergency vehicle or a tow truck with its amber lights flashing stopped facing the same direction you are going, slow down and pass with caution.

I actually don't have a problem with this.  The shoulder of a freeway is a scary place.  I try to pull left for any vehicle on the shoulder; doesn't matter if it's a family watering the dog.  What I have a problem with is the driving habits going to the scene.  My (former) Force actually broadcasts 'first available tow' on their radio since they know they all have scanners.  I long argued, unsuccessfully, that this is not only a violation of their radio licence but is perpetuating the problem.
I was in a very serious collision two months ago.  After a few minutes of calling 911 and checking on the injured, I looked up to see two trucks of a company I've never seen before.  Later, the investigating officer suggested 'do I know any other company?' so it seems it is infecting our little rural part of the world too.  Their 'emergency response' was limited to wandering around eyeing up how they could hook up the vehicles.
The industry needs much stronger regulation.  Ontario made baby steps a couple of years ago but much is still unregulated and/or left to local bylaws.

When I became a new Constable in 1980 my annual salary was $19,000 dollars. I thought I was a millionaire.

Ya, no kidding.  I made ~$9500 in 1973 and felt like Scrooge McDuck.

It adds up. For example, in 2019, a Toronto Police constable  was paid $295,256.93

Paid duties are extremely lucrative in places like Toronto, and a CRA ruling a few years back pretty much forced the employer to run payments through their payroll system so it shows up on T4s.  Prior to that it was considered a matter between the copper and the paying company and the copper was expected to report the income.  It seems many (most/all) didn't.
Also, Toronto used to schedule court for off duty time to maintain street coverage, so gobs of o/t.  I don't know what it does now.
 

mariomike

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Good2Golf said:
Did that CST (and others above 100k) show up in the Ontario Sunshine list?

Police Constable

City of Toronto - Police Service
https://www.ontariosunshinelist.com/people/cfvzmt

2019 Police Constable
Salary: $295,257
Benefits: $1,034.54

 

AbdullahD

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mariomike said:
It adds up. For example, in 2019, a Toronto Police constable  was paid $295,256.93 .

Thanks for that tid bit.. I am a believer those putting their lives at risk to keep mine safe should be well paid.. so when people were saying 68k/yr was a lot, especially in a city.. I was going to disagree.. but 300k/yr is a LOT, benefits matter I guess ^^

Or maybe don't tax the military, rcmp and other such employers with income tax... they are generally paid with tax dollars anyways. 68k/yr net is hugely different then gross.

Any rate sorry, I shouldn't derail the thread more.
Abdullah
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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That money was paid for by time not spent with family, friends, sporting events, etc...
 
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