Retired OPP officer and injured worker advocate Bruce Kruger is calling on the government of Ontario to hold a public inquiry. In the wake of three recent suicides by Ontario Provincial Police members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the OPP Commissioner has chosen to conduct only an internal police review into these mental health issues.
Kruger says a public inquiry is necessary because the issues go beyond the police force. The Ontario Ombudsman already investigated the internal issues and produced a 2012 report In the Line of Duty, an investigation into how the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services have addressed operational stress injuries affecting police officers. The recommendations were adopted within policing services right across Canada.
Kruger explains that, sadly, suicides continue for many reasons. For example, “An OPP internal review also cannot address the abuse against mentally injured officers by the WSIB.” Kruger says the WSIB has acted with total impunity in their efforts to reduce their debt load while casting aside the well-being of mentally injured officers. The annual reports of the Ontario ombudsman consistently lists WSIB within the top five government agencies for complaints to their office. He is asking the Ontario government for an independent inquiry addressing suicides and mental wellness of OPP personnel including police officers, OPP Auxiliary members, dispatchers and retirees.
- Kruger, Bruce. 2018 Sep. 10. “Opinion: Province Must Look into OPP Suicides.” MuskokaRegion.com
- Burke, Ashley. 2018 Aug. 28. “Retired Officer Warns OPP to Listen to Mental Health Concerns.” CBC News Ottawa
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