After five years, four Toronto cops accused by a judge of planting drugs to justify a search, then fabricating a story to “cover their tracks,” are finally set to face a disciplinary tribunal to determine their fate as police officers.
In the meantime, they’ve all been suspended with pay since January 2016 — at a rank that currently pays more than $100,000 a year.
Their example is far from rare. Despite repeated calls for change from chiefs and politicians and recent pressure to defund police, police forces are still bound by decades-old provincial legislation that only allows officers to be suspended without pay if they are convicted of a crime and sentenced to jail.
As a result, chiefs remain forced to pay cops facing criminal or misconduct charges, regardless of the seriousness of the allegations — even in extreme cases including murder.
According to a Star survey of a dozen of the largest Ontario police services, the four Toronto officers are among more than 120 Ontario cops currently being paid while suspended. The Ontario Provincial Police has the most officers suspended while on the payroll, with 37, followed by Toronto police with 31 and Ottawa and Peel regional police each with 13.