CPS outlines strategy to resolve workplace culture problems - 660 NEWS
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CPS outlines strategy to resolve workplace culture problems

(Kevin Usselman - 660 NEWS)

The Calgary Police Service plans to have an independent workplace conflict advisor by the end of the year and a respectful workplace audit done by early 2019, as it tries to resolve its reported atmosphere of bullying, intimidation, and harassment.

A presentation was shown to the Calgary Police Commission Monday, outlining its timeline of recommendations.

Along with the hiring of the advisor and the audit, the plan includes opting into the City of Calgary’s whistleblower program and strengthening its Respectful Workplace Office, with some measures for that phase already underway.

Chief Roger Chaffin said after the presentation there’s a lot of work ahead.

“Lots has occurred, it just doesn’t necessarily happen as a light switch,” he said. “I would like things to go faster as well and out of impatience, I would like things to go faster, but they’re going in a responsible time frame at this point.”

The force has been under the microscope ever since a damning report was made public last year, alleging a toxic workplace culture for members, which has led to over a dozen current and former officers filing formal complaints.

Chaffin said one of the main reasons for the timeline was the completion of the current Kogawa Consulting review of HR policies, which finished early this month.

Other current work includes hiring a conflict resolution advisor and learning and organizational development positions, implementing work area training and finishing new office space at the Westwinds campus for the Respectful Workplace Office.

Chaffin said they’re also looking into getting more civilian members of the force in HR positions.

“Our history has always been to take sworn bodies and either promote them and put them into HR and help them learn on the job and work their way through it, I think though going forward that model has exhausted itself,” he said.” Those specific skill sets like IT and HR, need those specific skill sets there.”

Commission Co-Chair Lisa Silver said she feels hopeful about the plan.

“They’re doing it in a very reasoned way and I feel like that’s appropriate, but I still feel that we on the commission have a role to ensure that they’re doing it,” she said. “At least they’ve come to us today with a structure of what it could look like.”

While the wait is on for an independent advisor, CPS has already hired (Ret.) Chief Justice Neil Wittmann to review police-involved shootings.

“We weren’t reporting that in the open, we were doing several months of work to allow that to occur,” he said. “It’s a bit narrower a field when you’re looking at someone with that kind of skill set, so here we’ll be making sure we’re going to market fairly.”