Calgary police officer launches lawsuit against CPS over alleged sexual harassment and intimidation
**Warning: Story includes sexually graphic details of the allegations**
Kimberley Prodaniuk, a member of the Calgary Police Service who has been on stress leave for nearly two years, is seeking compensation for the harassment she has allegedly endured during her time with the force.
According to the statement of claim filed March 6 in Court of Queen’s Bench, Prodaniuk is suing the City of Calgary, Chief of Police, Calgary Police Service, and the Calgary Police Association as she alleges she was the ‘victim of harassment, sexual harassment, intimidation and outrageous conduct committed by the Service’s and Association’s employees, members and officers’ after joining the service in March 2008.
The unproven allegations listed in the statement of claim include:
- Being forced to execute her services as a District 2 member without a partner after she informed a superior of her former partner’s concerning conduct
- Being asked by a detective, while on a vice sting, to describe ‘the best blow job you’ve ever given’
- Unwelcome flirting from her partner during her time as a District 8 member
- Being encouraged to pretend to perform oral sex using frozen peas on an imaginary female on a public stage in front of other officers during her ISTAT training
- Being encouraged to pretend to have orgasms in public including an instance on the merry-go-round at Chinook Centre
- Being encouraged to approach a male customer at a Safeway location and offer him a threesome involving her and her female ISTAT partner
- Being told by a superior that ‘sometimes I find policewomen have a tone in their voice, maybe you need to take a (expletive) course’
- Being told she ‘seemed like a sensitive girl’ after voicing her concerns to the Calgary Police Association
- Being told that by an inspector in human resources that a problem was rooted in her reputation for being a bitch
Prodaniuk took stress leave on March 21, 2017 and has not returned to her role with the Calgary Police Service.
The statement of claim indicates that Prodaniuk suffered damages to her reputation as well as emotional, mental and physical distress, and financial losses.
Prodaniuk issued the following statement to CTV Calgary on Friday, March 8:
“As the matter is before the courts, I've been advised by my counsel that it's not appropriate to comment on my case specifically. I have been on the record saying that officers who have been enduring the harassment at the CPS have been enduring it for so long that they’re desperate and that it has gotten worse over the years. I stand by that statement.”
The lawsuit is seeking an undisclosed financial amount to compensate the plaintiff for the damages she incurred.
"It has had a massive impact on her life with respect to her mental well-being," said Brendan Miller, Prodaniuk's attorney. "She is on stress leave and not able to practice policing."
Officials with the City of Calgary, Chief of Police and Calgary Police Service declined to comment on the specific allegations but the Calgary Police Association issued the following statement to CTV.
“The Calgary Police Association supports and advocates for our members vigorously, and refute these claims,” said Les Kaminski, president of the Calgary Police Association. “We will be filing our statement of defence in short order.”
The Calgary Police Service Commission, while not being named as a defendant in the lawsuit, pledged to keep the CPS committed to creating a positive workplace environment.
“The claims in this lawsuit are now before the court to assess,” said Brian Thiessen, chair of the Calgary Police Service Commission. “In the meantime, the Commission will make sure CPS remains focused on the work underway to create an environment and a culture that prioritizes safety and respect for all employees. We continue to believe that any form of harassment is unacceptable and should be met with the strongest response possible.”
Prodaniuk’s allegations have not been proven in court.
With files from CTV’s Brenna Rose