Former Police Chief Bryan Larkin says he never approved his Farbridge endorsement wording

Posted October 18, 2014

On October 8, 2014, guelphspeaks.ca published that Guelph Police Chief Brian Larkin had endorsed Mayor Karen Farbridge in every copy of her brochures. There were 45,000 distributed to Guelph households and it raised a red flag.

It is clear, according to the Ontario Association of Chief’s of Police that its organization doesn’t stand behind political platforms or candidates. Further, the Ontario Police Services Act prohibits municipal police officers from engaging in political activity.

That being the case, why did Larkin blatantly appear on the Mayor’s website as a supporter and in her brochure?

The difference between the two are the words in the brochure “outgoing Chief of Police Guelph” and the mayor’s website that describes him as “former Police Chief.”

The new Waterloo Regional Chief now says that the online endorsement of Farbridge was made as a private resident and taxpayer of Guelph, and not as chief. And he wanted that corrected by the Farbridge election team.

Chief, you are on the job 24/7 and you don’t have the luxury of switching from Chief to Civilian when it is convenient. In your profession, you can’t take sides in an election. The Ontario Police Services Act makes it clear.

Your endorsement in the brochure was made when you were Guelph’s Chief of Police prior to leaving August 31. Otherwise, why did the Farbridge team describe you as “outgoing Chief of Police?” Guess they were not aware of the Ontario Police Act that forbids endorsement of candidates by any police officer.

Regardless of your affection for the politics of Mayor Farbridge, you acted unprofessionally and should apologize to the citizens of Guelph for your action in trying to influence the voters of this city.

You, of all people, must realize the damage you have not only done to your own reputation but that of the other Guelph mayoralty candidates. You have also damaged the integrity of the officers and staff of the Guelph Police Services by taking sides in a municipal election.

It’s sad and surprising that a man of your reputation would sully it with such a dumb mistake and then try to whitewash it.

But then power can do strange things to trusted and respected people.

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6 Comments

Filed under Between the Lines

6 responses to “Former Police Chief Bryan Larkin says he never approved his Farbridge endorsement wording

  1. Glen N. Tolhurst

    I suppose in light of the words attributed to Karen & her spinmeisters, that she can now be referred to as “the outgoing mayor of Guelph” and post election date of 27 Oct 14, she will be referred to as “the former mayor”.
    Those 2 labels for her have such a nice ring to them. As for Larkin, I guess the phrase “formerly respected Guelph police chief” can be his new moniker.

  2. Glen N. Tolhurst

    David: Whilst the term “honorific” is being tossed about, one that surely would apply to the mayor of the Royal City might be “Urbacon Queen”, though it has a rather albatross necklace-like connotation to it.

  3. geo

    This same situation occurred when the O.P.P.endorsed the provincial Liberal party while simultaneously investigating the gas plant scandal.
    In Ontario a police force or someone representing a police force can not endorse a political party or an individual running in a municipal election.
    The people holding these positions should know better and violating this policy should result in termination.
    This is something I would expect to see in Russia not Ontario but if there continues to be 30% turnout at municipal elections anything is possible.

    • Geo: With some 10,000 votes already cast, I think there is change in the air. Change despite the Farbridge campaign manipulation of the facts, character assassination ad, glossing over the Urbacon lawsuit, denying responsibility for anything. Was Larkin’s endorsement of the Mayor a thank-you for getting council to pass the $34 million renovation of police headquarters? His new employer should take note of the way the new Waterloo Police Chief operates. He broke the law endorsing the mayor and he should be held accountable.

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