Windsor police officer using police communication equipment to flirt with a female fr

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rivermersey

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Windsor Star (May 9, 2008)
Windsor, Ontario (Canada)

SEE: http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/story.html?id=92535cb2-a98a-4e94-84fc-2232f578f7bd

Police chief asks for probe into YouTube clips
Windsor officer allegedly heard flirting
Dalson Chen, The Windsor Star
Published: Friday, May 09, 2008
The chief of Windsor police has authorized a formal investigation into YouTube clips that allegedly featured a Windsor police officer using police communication equipment to flirt with a female friend and disparage fellow officers.

On Friday, police announced that Chief Gary Smith has filed what's known as a chief's complaint, tasking the service's professional standards branch to investigate the matter.

"There are two issues here," said Staff Sgt. Ed McNorton. "One is the use of police equipment -- if, in fact, it was police equipment. And number two, was he on duty, and should he have been doing something else in relation to police duties?"
Posted anonymously earlier this week, the three-part online video mostly showed a hand-held frequency scanner that had tuned into a conversation between a male and a female.

The YouTube user who submitted the videos originally described both voices as belonging to Windsor police officers. McNorton said it's since been determined that only the male is a member of the force. The female is an "acquaintance" of the male officer.

"We're not going to identify the female. But it's not a Windsor police officer," McNorton said.

During the 20-minute conversation, the pair exchanged sexual banter, then talked poorly about various individuals whom they referred to by nicknames.

Smith confirmed that the nicknames are for members of the Windsor Police Service. Although Smith said he doesn't personally know those involved, "other people in the organization will know who they are."

McNorton said investigators have identified the patrol constable who they believe is the male voice in question. Although the constable remains on duty, he's been reassigned to administrative work. McNorton declined to name the officer, or say how long he's been on the force. "We're not going to be giving out any of that detailed information."

Smith said: "I would imagine he's feeling a little bit embarrassed and sheepish. He has to come in and face his co-workers."

The investigation has also figured out the date and time of the conversation. McNorton again refused to divulge that information, but acknowledged it's believed the conversation took place during the constable's work hours.

Asked what penalties the constable could face as a result of the investigation, Smith said it would be premature to discuss them.

Smith said that when the process is over, he will likely send a message to the entire Windsor Police Service. "I'll have some form of communication, because there's going to be a few changes that will have to be made. And there will be reminders to put out to people that certain features on our tools aren't encrypted and are accessible to the public."

Smith noted that within two years, the force will have a new digital communication system that offers greater encryption than the current system.

In the five days that the clips were online, they racked up thousands of views. Part one of the video alone was viewed more than 6,500 times.

But by Friday afternoon, the clips had been removed from YouTube by the user who submitted them -- identified only by the screen name "jjpl."

Smith said police have already downloaded the clips, and the fact that they are no longer available for public viewing does not affect the investigation. "As far as the actions that we're going to take, it leaves things unchanged. I'm glad that they're off and the public won't be looking at Windsor police in such a bad light. But the information is out there."

Despite early concerns that whoever submitted the video may have intercepted a private communication, McNorton said on Friday such issues aren't a part of the current investigation.

"Not from what we can see," McNorton said. "Whether it's public information, I don't know, but we're certainly not looking at it as a privacy issue.... From everything we've been able to determine, there's nothing illegal about it."

Regarding the YouTube user who posted the videos, McNorton said: "I'm certain the people that are investigating the matter would be more than happy to speak to him if he were to come forward."

McNorton said YouTube is a fairly new phenomenon, but most officers know about the site, "including myself. But it's not something I've ever accessed.... For us, we're going to deal with this issue. That's our concern."

Asked about how the debacle affects the public reputation of Windsor police, McNorton replied: "We're not happy with it. But it's one incident with one officer, and we'll deal with it when we find out the facts."




© The Windsor Star 2008
 

exkalibur

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"From what we've been able to determine, there's nothing illegal about it".

There ya go on-line scanner folks, from the horses mouth.

Although this certainly helps make a case for the circle getting slashed.
 
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