During the recent debate on the expunging of police disciplinary records Winnipeg’s Chief of Police essentially took the position that because criminals can apply to receive pardons after five years of criminal inactivity, police officers should be able to apply to have their disciplinary records expunged after five years as well. I wrote a post at the time which stated in part:
Talk about lowering your level of expectations by comparing police officers to criminals. Whatever happened to the principle of expecting the very best from police officers and holding police officers to a higher standard? The Chief’s position on this is poorly thought out and just plain wrong.
The recent press release by RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bill Robinson in response to the criminal conviction of two RCMP officers is a refreshing change when compared to the drivel being spouted by Winnipeg’s Chief.
We recognize that our members are held to a higher standard and we are proud of the hundreds of hard-working men and women providing highly professional police services to Manitoba communities. (emphasis added is mine)
That is how it should be!
Overall, I agree with what you say. However, the Alberta Police Act and Discipline Regulations have long had provision for expungement. I think major “offences” is 5 years.
But to make a comparison with criminals is not appropriate and is yet another erosion of the status of police officer/police constable and a contributor to decreased respect.
All the best