Five WRPS officers earn combined $1 million while appealing dismissals
Since their suspensions began, five officers who have been ordered dismissed from Waterloo Regional Police in recent months have racked up more than $1 million combined in salaries.
That’s because they’re all appealing their dismissals, and because of an Ontario law – not present in any other provinces – stating that officers cannot be suspended without pay in any circumstance.
Three of the officers saw their dismissals Monday.
Const. Jeff Vongkhamphou was fired outright, while Const. Graeme Kobayashi and Const. Timothy Green were given seven days to either resign or meet the same fate.
Between them, they’ve earned nearly $600,000 while on suspension.
Const. Craig Markham was dismissed in January – after taking in nearly $165,000 while on paid suspension.
A three-year suspension saw Const. Jeremy Borda receive just under $267,000 in pay before he was dismissed last December.
All five have continued to earn their full salaries while appealing the dismissals.
The Waterloo Regional Police Association – the union representing Waterloo Regional Police – says it’s happy with the current rules.
Association president Paul Perchaluk points to the case of Const. Jeremy Snyder, who was on paid leave for nearly two years before being cleared of sexual assault accusations, as a prime example of why the group takes that stance.
“It’s people like him that make us dig our heels in and continue to support the situation that when officers are suspended, they should be suspended with pay,” he tells CTV News.
Various policing organizations, including the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and Ontario Association of Police Services Boards, have been lobbying the province to change the law so that officers dismissed due to serious criminal convictions wouldn’t receive their salary during appeal periods.
Any changes to the current laws would have to be passed at Queen’s Park.