Allegations Against SPS Unfounded - Chief's Statement

The following is a statement from Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper:

Yesterday afternoon we received the results of the investigation by the Provincial Complaints Commission into a complaint made by Mr. Ken Thomas in April 2018. The PCC has determined the complaint is unfounded.

Our Service cooperated fully with the investigation from its inception, and assisted by providing logs of GPS for our fleet as well as video and audio recordings which are automatically activated in all our cars. This information was undoubtedly very useful in proving that there was no contact between the SPS and Mr Thomas on April 21st.

While we felt confident that the investigation would eventually show we were not involved, the investigation itself was conducted by an oversight body and not our staff. We were required to await the process that follows a formal complaint to the PCC rather than speaking publicly about our early findings. To maintain community trust it is important to allow for, and fully cooperate with, thorough investigations by an independent agency such as the PCC and we did just that.

This is the first complaint of this nature since I have been Chief but it is not the first against the SPS in recent years. Since 2012 there have been seven allegations in different forms, including the complaint by Mr. Thomas. In each case the individuals allege they were driven out of town and dropped off. In each case the allegations were investigated and determined to be unfounded and in two cases charges were laid against the complainants for mischief. In this most recent case our office has reached out to the Provincial Crown Prosecutors to determine what our options might be for further investigation.

For some time now our service has utilized GPS in our vehicles. They are also equipped with in-car video and audio. GPS tracking allows vehicle locations to be captured and made available for historical playback. In addition, police radios all transmit GPS locations which are also captured for historical playback. This information is stored in two redundant databases and never purged. The in-car video and audio systems also capture GPS information. This equipment comes on automatically with the activation of emergency equipment and the opening of doors. There is also camera equipment with sensors capturing all vehicles entering or exiting SPS security gates or parking garage doors. This technology has been key to disproving false allegations.

Our Police Service currently enjoys very high levels of public trust but we do not take that for granted. We take these allegations incredibly seriously and we know that we must address them as quickly as possible while reassuring people that our members are doing their best to serve the community.