Chief Kalinski cleared of wrongdoing following PSB investigation

July 6, 2017   ·   0 Comments

Orangeville Police Chief Wayne Kalinski has done a fantastic job of rebuilding the local authority’s reputation in recent years.

By Mike Pickford

Police Chief Wayne Kalinski has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Orangeville Police Services Board following its three-week investigation of his conduct in dealing with local media earlier this year.

The investigation, carried out by an internal committee made up of several board members, found that there were “no grounds” to Coun. Sylvia Bradley’s allegations that the chief’s credibility and integrity should be called into question over the way he handled a situation between the OPS and the Orangeville Banner in May.

At the height of the debate surrounding the future of the municipality’s policing services, Chief Kalinski, along with several other members of the Orangeville Police Service and Orangeville Police Association, agreed to an interview with The Banner after the publication printed stories and opinion pieces indicating the Ontario Provincial Police would be the best policing option for the community.

In one article, several members of the Orangeville Police Service anonymously shared their feelings that the OPP would be a better choice for the community.

Chief Kalinski attempted to address comments made in that story in an interview and was unhappy with a subsequent Banner article based on the interview.

The Orangeville Police Service then released what they said was a full transcript of that two-hour interview to the public, titled ‘Chief Kalinski sets the record straight’. In the release, Chief Kalinski noted The Banner’s article following the interview “lacked important details and balance” and so he felt it was necessary to present all the information to the public.

A recording of the interview was sent to a professional transcription service and a 46-page document made available on the OPS’ website for public viewing. The Banner later asserted that what the OPS had put out was a condensed version of the interview which missed large chunks of comments and details. Cst. Scott Davis told local media that the only thing removed from the transcript were redundancies and “ums and ahs”, maintaining his belief that the OPS “included all relevant substance” in the package. An uncondensed 95-page document was later made available.

On June 8, with a final decision on the future of the municipality’s policing service looming, Coun. Bradley sent an email to the police services board expressing her “disappointment” in the way Chief Kalinski had handled the situation. She found it “unacceptable” that the OPS released a condensed version of the transcript, claiming the Chief’s credibility and integrity had been jeopardized as a result of the ordeal and that his position of trust should be questioned.

She formally asked that the incident be investigated, a request the Board agreed to on June 13, much to the chagrin of Mayor Jeremy Williams.

“This whole thing, in my opinion, is totally without merit,” Mayor Williams told the Citizen immediately following the June 13 board meeting. “We had a pretty important vote last night (Council’s 4-3 vote to preserve the OPS) and it didn’t go the way some councillors wanted it to go. I’m not saying that’s the reason for this complaint, but all the same I feel it is without merit and a complete waste of time.”

The Board offered no details regarding how it had arrived at its decision, but Board Chair Ken Krakar was asked to advise Coun. Bradley and The Banner that the issue, as far as the Board was concerned, was now over but she still had “the option of corresponding with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director if she so wishes.”

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