When cops step over the line should the taxpayer’s pay?

Posted September 28, 2013

The case of Guelph Police Constable, Chris Panylo, has left citizens with a bad taste in their mouths. This officer was a member of the drug squad and used drugs while on duty and stole drugs for personal use. He was addicted, yet functioned apparently without the knowledge of his superiors.

Another officer, now under investigation, sold him steroids.

The question arises about the ability of senior officers, responsible for command and control, who were unable or unwilling to put a stop to this illegal activity within its own ranks.

Instead, the constable negotiated a deal through his lawyer and the police services board to allow him to continue on paid suspension for an additional seven months and then be dismissed from the service.

In case you are wondering, Panylo was a first class constable earning a base salary of $85,000 a year. The seven-month bonus will cost taxpayers $49,583. Presuming while still on the payroll that his benefits will continue including health care, pension and sick leave.

What’s wrong with this picture? Panylo has been on paid suspended leave since his arrest. Now this arrangement adds additional costs to the taxpayer with the apparent agreement of the Police Services Board of which Mayor Karen Farbridge and Coun. Leanne Piper are members.

Did they, elected representatives of the people, vote to agree to this deal?

This decision sends a terrible message to the public that police, sworn to uphold the laws of the land, are exempt from punishment endured by the average person caught up in similar circumstances.

This has the distinct odour of offering a second chance with rehab to a man who abused his authority by using illegal substances to assuage his personal problems.

In this case he threw trust out the window to satisfy his personal addiction.

Cut him loose before more damage is done to the public trust in its police services.

Police should always be held to a higher standard.

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