Calgary police union chief calls for change in the CPC
The head of the Calgary Police Association is calling for the resignation of Brian Thiessen, the chairman of the Calgary Police Commission, after the CPS’ chief HR officer walked off the job last week.
Sheila Bell, a civilian human resources specialist was hired on February 12, 2018 in response to the so-called ‘toxic workplace’ at the Calgary Police Service.
Her role was to modernize the human resources department on the force and execute widespread changes to improve the culture at the CPS.
The circumstances of her resignation have not been released.
On Thursday, Les Kaminski says that the departure of Bell and her second in command shows there are serious issues on the force and with the CPC.
“It’s clear that the Chair of the Police Commission is out of touch with what’s really going on in the Calgary Police Service. This is another fiasco that proves that there are systemic problems in the oversight mechanism of our police service.”
He is now calling for the resignation of Brian Thiessen, saying that change is needed in that organization.
“Chief Chaffin has resigned. It is now time for his ally, Police Commission Chair Brian Thiessen to resign as well,” Kaminski said. “He’s ignored the pleas of our members and meddles in union business, publicly attacking the CPA on several occasions.”
He insisted that the call for resignation was not personal and was instead in the best interest of safety.
Kaminski says that the CPS provides policing to citizens, the chief provides direction to the members that provide that service and the commission is to provide civilian oversight.
After hearing about the departure of Bell, Thiessen said on Wednesday that he was disappointed to hear that another person would need to be found to fill the position.
As for the comments from the CPA, the Commission said in a statement that they support Thiessen and continue to work hard on many of the issues brought forward to create a strong city.
“We will hold true to our priorities as we execute our oversight role. We are disappointed that the Calgary Police Association continues to decline opportunities to collaborate with the Commission to move initiatives forward. We will not let this personal attack on Chair Thiessen be a distraction as we focus our efforts on hiring a new Chief Constable for Calgary.”
The human resources issue came to a head in February 2017 when 13 members of the CPS filed formal complaints to Chief Roger Chaffin, saying that there was a culture of ‘harrassment and bullying’ on the force.