Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau

Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau. (Ottawa Sun files)

An internal investigation into what Ottawa police officers are calling “phantom” traffic warnings has grown to take in approximately 20 traffic officers, Postmedia has learned.

That is double the number of officers that were the focus of the investigation last November, multiple sources confirmed to Postmedia.

The force’s professional standards section, which investigates officer misconduct, launched a probe into officers allegedly falsifying traffic warnings to skew their internal statistics to suggest more warnings were being handed out.

Traffic warnings, or printed citations, carry no fines, but the number an officer issues is tracked for the purposes of promotion and enforcement efforts.

On Monday, Chief Charles Bordeleau sent an email to the full police service announcing the suspension of Const. Peter Dawson, the second officer to be removed from duties because of the investigation. Const. Edward Ellis, a fellow member of the traffic escort and enforcement unit, was suspended last September.

Both continue to be paid in accordance with the Police Services Act.

In November when the Citizen first reported on the internal investigation, Bordeleau said he could not comment on any current investigation.

On Tuesday, asked if the expanded investigation would be handed over to an outside agency such as the Ontario Provincial Police, Bordeleau said that the Ottawa police professional standards unit was leading the ongoing investigation and that he will be in a position to comment once it is completed.

Insp. Chris Rheaume, who oversees the professional standards section, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source: Ottawa Sun