In August 2005 I began an undercover operation that would take me into the core of
Organized Crime in Ontario. The aftereffects have been well authenticated by the media; however a summarized version of happenings would depict a colleague in the senior management team intentionally compromising my cover for monetary reward, from the very people we were trying to bring to justice.
The operation would be discontinued under the guise of misplaced intelligence, but not before an attempt to assassinate me. I argued issues and the response’s I received were not consistent with a police service claiming to be caring, progressive and forward thinking. In fact, again as published, their subsequent misfeasance’s and malfeasances have now become substance for the civil judiciary.
Sometime in 2007 a Hamilton Police Service (HPS) Special Constable attended work and was immediately arrested for a number of offences including ‘breach of trust’. He was refused bail and sent to Hamilton-Wentworth detention Centre. Upon arrival he was asked if he wanted to go into ‘protective custody’ due to his vocation and understandable safety risks, which come from the loathing criminals have of Law Enforcement. He stated with a smile he would be fine in “general population”.
He received a standing ovation from the other prisoners. It transpired this male was a sworn member of the Hamilton Front line Bloods. An ‘organized criminal’ who with the support of his brotherhood had applied for employment and ‘infiltrated’ HPS with the intention of disrupting criminal investigations into his ilk. I can find no record of dispensation, his name, or any report. It would appear his action, along with those of many others, were ‘covered up’.
As long as we have had organized crime, we have had criminals trying to infiltrate both police officers and police services with inducements including not only money, but women and drugs. They’ve had had more success than authorities would have you believe and the news is littered daily with tales of Montreal cops pleading guilty to ‘gangsterism’ and four RCMP Officers out in British Columbia investigated for intentional misfeasance in a gangland slaying where two innocent bystanders were killed.
Still, with these facts in mind the most horrifying issue is most intentionally wrongdoing is covered up due to the public relations harm it can do to a City and the subsequent erosion of public trust, or even more disconcertingly it’s a favour for a friend.
Evidencing the same is simple. Whilst working undercover I found myself in a Hells Angels clubhouse, surrounded by nefarious and degenerate types, openly using cocaine and other narcotics. I was oblivious at the time a serving HPS officer was also socializing in there, off duty.
An investigation commenced and he was subsequently interrogated. It was decided that because of the danger of compromise to the operation, which had already suffered delays because of his involvement, and that officer’s ‘political associates’ words of advice would be given and no further action taken.
About 8 months ago I was approached by a male, who for safety’s sake I will refer to as ‘Jake’. ‘Jake’ came to me frightened and muddled. He started to tell me how he had been a crack cocaine dealer, a gang member and a registered confidential informant for HPS. He then showed me emails from the Sergeant in Charge of the HPS Source Unit, where they effectively and under duress asked him to sign away the anonymity that one is provided when becoming a police source.
‘Jake’ went on to particularize what he believed were the reasons behind this waiver request. He claimed he and numerous other organized crime members had been paying two HPS officers, approximately $10,000 a month for “protection”. For that he would be given a pass on arrests, advance warning of warrants and even sold back ‘fish scale’ and a ‘cocaine press’, items that the officer’s had seized as evidence from other warrants.
He supposed if he went public with his knowledge of police wrongdoing HPS could now release the fact he had been an informant. Therefore he surmised the waiver was to facilitate him “keeping his mouth shut”. He also told me other “higher ranking” officers were involved, and I’ve only been able to identify one, who resigned when this story broke.
A brief contextual on these officers. The first is no longer a HPS Officer having resigned after being found guilty of conspiring to plant a firearm on a potential suspect, and receiving a five year sentence. He is on bail whilst he appeals the sentence.
The second is currently on charges ranging from ‘trafficking cocaine’ to ‘corruptly accepting monies’, but his ‘participating in the activities of a criminal organization’ were discharged. Years before other offences were dismissed when the officer made it clear if he had to take the stand he would ‘have’ to disclosed the identities of police informants he had dealt with. This would have put HPS in a precarious position and would have cost the Hamilton taxpayer millions placing these confidential sources in witness protection; hence it becomes much easier to drop the charges.
Intriguingly, when Toronto Police Service (TPS) obtained a warrant to search this officer’s Hamilton home, they choose not to tell HPS. The only reason I can think of not appraising other jurisdictions Police Service I would be enforcing a warrant on the home of one of their officers is I didn’t trust them to do the right thing.
I advised ‘Jake’ best I could but instructed him to get a lawyer to protect the original contract he entered into with HPS and retain his lawful anonymity.
Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) has historically had massive issues with the same. Indeed, in 2007 one of their officers was released from court with charges pending for selling confidential information, he had to be specifically and somewhat embarrassingly ordered to ‘stay away from Hells Angels’.
I was again approached by another informant who stated this practice of selling information to organized criminals was still rampant, especially within NRPS. This person detailed how now rather than print-off intelligence or crime reports to sell, officers can now simply take photos with their cell phones, and text or email them.
I met with Intel officers from NRPS and furnished them with the same information and worryingly they confirmed their current system does not allow them to track which officer accesses which report. In other words, personal information is for sale if you have the money and can access the right police officer. Again, I can find no media release pertaining to arrests or investigation and know at least two of those named are still operational.
Even though Police Chiefs and Politicians will vehemently deny the same or downplay the problem, organized crime has clearly infiltrated Police Service throughout Canada.
So how do we change it? How do we make it more challenging for officer’s that lack the integrity the majority of their colleague’s show to breach trust? How do we stop them continuously betraying the responsibility the public bestowed on them?
Firstly, the way officers access information and crime reports they have no lawful authority or investigative need to, has to change. This can easily be done by ‘protecting’ all information, and an official request to access can be made through an accredited supervisor.
Secondly, access to Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) needs to be monitored more effectively, a quick ‘Google’ search revealed just how prolific a problem abuse of the same system is. At the present time, unless a complaint is received directly relating to its misuse, an officer can run a person or vehicle without fear of discovery or reprise. Monthly screening could be managed, particularly of specialized units that deal directly with drugs, gangs or guns.
Thirdly, and more essentially, an organization restructured is needed to pound out corruption completely. I had a few ideas on how this would work when thinking of a working restructure for the Special Investigation Unit. While researching the same I came across the ‘Civilian Led Policing’ model designed by ex-Baltimore Police Sergeant Michael Wood Jr.
This model I’ll dissect in more depth in a further blog post, but effectively it generates a division between sworn officers and civilian staff. The ‘civilian administration department’ role would change the entire operating model for officers, giving them more time to enforce laws and more time street side, but restricting access to even their own notes.
The transition cost is negligible, even saving the taxpayer millions of dollars in the long run due to the number of libellous actions against Cities and Police diminishing. Police and governmental bodies will constantly reiterate this is a minor issue, but it’s more widespread than you can possibly fathom, as is the authorities resolve to continue to cover up.
For example, I have it from three separate and verified sources that the recent August 2017 O.P.P seizure of $250 million in cocaine has been linked back to serving Municipal police officers. Get that? Officers from a Police Service in the Golden Horseshoe were involved in assisting organized criminals import a quarter of a billion dollars of cocaine into Canada.
This was not the first consignment. The ‘cover-up’ is underway and I’ll be honest, it’s interesting to watch the panic from the outside. Let’s hope they can keep it secret and nobody else finds out about it!
*Note: I speak with numerous Police Officers daily, from around the Province who vent their disgust with the behaviour of a small percentage of their colleagues. However, as whistleblower legislation stands at the moment, if they speak out a senior management team can quiet easily destroy their career and bully them out of the service.