Greater Sudbury Police have two public complaints from 2021 that are under investigation, said the city’s top cop on Wednesday.
Police Chief Paul Pedersen said the service received a total of 43 public complaints last year through the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, two of which were service complaints.
That’s an increase of six complaints over 2020, he said.
Police services are obligated under the Police Services Act to report publicly on the number of public complaints received through the year.
Two of the public complaints were substantiated or resulted in sanctions against an officer, Pedersen said.
Sudbury.com covered the criminal matters concerning Const. Thomas Van Drunen, who pleaded guilty last June to careless driving and speeding, which was downgraded from the original charge of impaired driving.
Van Drunen was charged with impaired driving on Nov. 13, 2020 when he was pulled over on Municipal Road 80 by another police officer. He was off duty at the time.
A disciplinary hearing has yet to be scheduled.
A second officer, Const. Kyle Cartwright, is charged under the Police Services Act with two counts of discreditable conduct and one count of insubordination. One hearing has already taken place. A second is scheduled in February. Check back with Sudbury.com for more on this story.
The Professional Standards Bureau, which often conducts investigations on behalf of the OIRPD, received the complaints in the following manner:
-Twenty-one were not dealt with, as they were found to be frivolous, vexatious, made in bad faith, or was determined by the director not to be in the public interest to pursue) and screened out;
-Six complaints were withdrawn by the complainant after analysis and discussions with Professional Standards investigators;
-Eight complaints were investigated and determined to be unsubstantiated with an investigative report forwarded to the complainant and the OIPRD;
-Six complaints were resolved with the complainant through the OIPRD’s Informal Resolution process;
-Two complaints are currently under investigation to be completed in 2022.
In 2021, Greater Sudbury Police dealt with almost 54,000 calls for service. Officers made 5,600 arrests.
With that volume of contact with the community, and with the volume of contact with the community in various different circumstances, to end up with 43 complaints, only two of which are substantiated, really speaks to the professionalism of officers who are out there day in and day out, 24/7, said Pedersen.
“They’re not able to work from home. They’re not able to determine if the persons they’re dealing with are positive for COVID,” said Pedersen. “It has been a difficult couple of years for the whole world, an extremely difficult couple of years for us on the front line. We’re continuing to strive for that professionalism, continuing to try and work for public trust, and it seems our people are doing a fantastic job day in and day out.”