Waterloo Regional Police Cheif Bryan Larkin provided CTV News with the following statement in response to allegations of sexual harassment and mistreatment of female officers within his organization:

“Waterloo Regional Police Service is committed to providing a work environment in which all members are treated with respect and dignity. Workplace harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated from any person in the workplace. As Chief, and as the leader of this organization, I feel the need to address the issues brought forward against me, and other members of this police service. Most importantly, I feel compelled to defend the hard-working, dedicated and honorable people who serve our community every day.

It has been a personal and professional goal of mine since being appointed as your Chief of Police, to continue to lead this organization with integrity and respect as my predecessors, Retired Chiefs Larry Gravill and Matt Torigian did. In recent years, we have made great strides toward improving gender equity and providing a workplace that is free from harassment. We have promoted more female leaders into Senior Leadership positions than ever before, created a branch specifically designed to promote inclusion, equity and diversity, provided forums where female members can share their experiences, and provided ongoing education and training relating to appropriate workplace conduct, harassment, discrimination and implicit bias. Even more, our organization under the governance of the Police Services Board, has created our 2018-2020 Operations Plan which includes goals to enhance community trust and public confidence by preventing and addressing systemic discrimination and educating our members about cultural diversity.

We are committed to maintaining stability and serving our community in a professional manner as the unproven allegations involved in these proceedings continue to come forward, I would like to remind the community that the members of the Waterloo Regional Police Service are resilient and dedicated individuals who will continue to serve with pride and dignity.

In response to allegations contained in the affidavits, the oversight body, the Special Investigations Unit has a specific mandate; to maintain confidence in Ontario’s police services by assuring the public that police actions resulting in serious injury, death, or allegations of sexual assault are subjected to rigorous, independent investigations. Incidents which fall within this mandate must be reported to the SIU by the police service involved and/or may be reported by the complainant or any other person. All the allegations in the affidavits have been reviewed and, where appropriate, referrals have been made to the SIU.

I look forward and welcome an opportunity to respond to these claims in a full and complete manner and in the appropriate judicial process.”