More than a dozen employees of the Calgary Police Service, including a veteran female police officer who publicly resigned from her job on the force last month, are filing formal complaints of bullying and harassment against the service.
In a release Tuesday, the group, which includes Const. Jen Magnus — who also goes by the surname Ward — a 14-year member of the service who resigned over allegations of sexual harassment and bullying, said the service “failed to provide a safe environment for certain employees, which has resulted in years of workplace bullying and harassment.”
The group of 13 employees will submit their complaints directly to Chief Roger Chaffin and has retained lawyers with the firm Dunphy Best Blocksom.
And according to a lawyer for the group, Chaffin has agreed to investigate the complaints through an external workplace investigator.
The employees allege that the culture of the CPS protects those who engage in abusive and harassing conduct in the workplace, according to the statement.
“In certain cases, when targets expressed their concerns to superiors, they were advised that nothing would be done if a complaint is filed. The Calgary Police Association (the union) has also advised some of the employees that it will not take on “blue on blue” grievances—leaving victims feeling that they have nowhere to turn,” read the statement, in part.
“Most victims do not report their concerns in any formal way for fear of retaliation and damage to their careers,” said Rachel West, the lead lawyer representing the group.
“However, a number of CPS employees are now making formal complaints directly to the chief in a concerted effort to push the CPS to make the changes that are desperately needed.”
Magnus was one of two service members who approached former police chief Rick Hanson with concerns, which led to a scathing 2013 workplace review first reported by Postmedia.
Last January she told a meeting of the Calgary Police Commission that speaking out about the service’s workplace culture had led to her being branded a “chain jumper, challenging and not to be trusted.”
More to come…