HAMILTON, Ont. — The Hamilton chief of police has apologized after his officers scrapped drinking-and-driving spot checks near a police social function.
Two officers, were overheard on a scanner by a citizen who had been seriously injured by an impaired driver, will be disciplined for giving the impression police received special treatment from their fellow officers, insists Chief Ken Robertson after an internal probe.
The radio conversation went like this:
“I just thought of something funny … the Retirement Dinner is tonight at the Warplane Heritage Museum … Ha, ha, ha, ha.”
“I don’t like the idea of doing RIDE lanes if the chief and the retired people are partying out this way. We should go somewhere else. What do you think?”
The first officer then suggested an alternate location.
Chief Robertson says this behavior was inappropriate. “The community has to believe that, when it comes to things like RIDE lanes, police will not be given preferential treatment.”
Matt Burke, 22, complained about the officers after hearing it over his radio scanner. He is satisfied with the chief’s report and accepts the apology.
“He seemed heartfelt when he said it; he seemed sincere,” says Burke. “I don’t want to see these two officers fired or anything, but I think it was inappropriate.” Burke is sensitive to the issue after he was hit by a drunk driver in 1997.
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