Ontario Independent

Officer who admitted to stealing drugs should have faced the charges: Toronto police chief

Officers who admitted to stealing drugs should have faced criminal charges

Key takeaways:

  • A senior officer who admitted to stealing drugs on the job should have been prosecuted, according to Toronto’s police chief.
  • According to Ramer, a deal was formed after discussions with Worden’s counsel, and there was no way to charge him based on the agreement.

The police chief of Toronto admits that a senior officer who admitted to stealing drugs on the job should have been prosecuted.

Last January, veteran homicide detective Paul Worden quietly left the Toronto Police Service. According to a report in the Toronto Star, he was forced to retire two weeks later after he was caught stealing opioids from evidence lockers.

The detective was not charged in exchange for stating to investigators with professional standards about how he stole evidence due to an addiction to prescription painkillers that began when he was injured on the job.

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On Friday, Toronto police Chief James Ramer told Global News that the decision not to charge Worden was a mistake.

“The OPP is looking into it right now.” “I believe it was a wellness focus by our people who were involved, and I believe it was well-intentioned, but it wasn’t the way to go,” Ramer said.

“You know, we have to make sure that we’re consulting with Crown attorneys and taking the appropriate steps to ensure that people are held accountable,” she says.

According to Ramer, a deal was formed after discussions with Worden’s counsel, and there was no way to charge him based on the agreement.

On the other hand, Ramer stated on Friday that he “absolutely” should have been charged.

At the time, Worden’s lawyer told Global News that he was pleased the Toronto Police Service was taking a progressive approach to the matter, treating Worden’s confession as a medical matter.

Officers who admitted to stealing drugs should have faced criminal charges
Officers who admitted to stealing drugs should have faced criminal charges. Image from Flipboard

According to Ramer, a policy change has been implemented to ensure that the Crown is consulted in a similar situation.

Surveillance cameras have now been installed in every evidence locker in the city, according to Ramer, who was not involved in the decision not to charge Worden.

If Worden had been charged, Ramer said, there would have been a chance for him to be held accountable.

“You can often more effectively use the wellness provision when you charge people because they will want to demonstrate, and their counsel will want to demonstrate, that they’re seeking treatment, that they’re getting help to get the best results at trial,” he said.

An OPP investigation into how the situation was handled is currently underway, and Ramer has stated that he will consider implementing any recommendations made in the report.

Source: Global News

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