When police officers are accused of professional misconduct or criminal behaviour, their employers have a few options avaiable to them.

The officer can be reassigned to other duties, for example. Or they can be suspended with pay. But that's as far as it goes.

Starting in 2011, three Waterloo Regional Police officers collected a total of about $1 million while suspended over allegations that ultimately saw them lose their jobs. They remained on the payroll after that, as they appealed their firings.

One WRPS sergeant remains on paid suspension, even though he recently pleaded guilty to criminal harassment and unauthorized possession of a weapon.

In a special series, CTV's Krista Simpson is taking a look at issues around the paid suspension of police officers, why it's the strongest punishment available when charges are laid, and what police chiefs and other groups say should be offered instead.

Use the video player above to watch the series.