Sgt. Kyle Petrie made his first appearance Tuesday before a police tribunal on his latest charge of discreditable conduct. According to the notice of hearing, Petrie was off-duty on Nov. 1 when he was involved in a single vehicle accident on St. Clair Ave. W.
He was arrested and charged with impaired driving after breath samples allegedly showed he had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. The allegations have not been tested in court.
He was originally scheduled to report to the tribunal on Jan. 10, but failed to show.
In 2015, Petrie was docked 32 days pay and narrowly escaped a demotion after pleading guilty to three counts of insubordination and one of discreditable conduct under the Police Act after his firearm went missing and his account of what happened was “inaccurate and incomplete.” “The seriousness of the misconduct cannot be understated,” wrote Insp. Debra Preston in her 2015 sentencing decision.
On Sept. 23, 2014, Petrie was picked up by his wife after his day of use-of-force training at the Toronto Police College and “unsafely stored” his gun, magazines, ammunition and Taser in the trunk of the car, the disciplinary hearing heard. He went to the LCBO and Home Depot before returning home. After a “significant period of time elapsed,” Petrie went to his trunk only to find that his service firearm and two magazines were gone.
He didn’t report the theft to anyone at the time — and to this day, they’ve never been recovered, according to facts revealed at the hearing.
When others learned of the missing firearm and reported it to his unit commander, Petrie was interviewed by professional standards, the tribunal heard. When he was first questioned, he said that he’d left the gun at the police college and then went directly home. In the second interview, Petrie was shown video surveillance from the college that clearly showed him leaving with his weapons. By the third, after seeing video from the LCBO and Home Depot, he admitted that he’d done those errands with his unsecured gun in his trunk.
During the internal investigation, they also found Petrie wasn’t locking his ammunition and Taser in an assigned gun locker as required, according to evidence at the hearing.
“Storing boxes of ammunition in a clothing locker is either sloppy police work or the end result of a sense of entitlement where the rules do not pertain to him,” Preston noted.
Petrie blamed “turmoil in his private life” for not being forthcoming during his initial interviews: his parents and live-in girlfriend were all facing medical issues and he was juggling the pressures of managing the joint-custody of his young children.
The hearing officer accepted that the sergeant was under psychological stress at the time and didn’t intentionally mislead investigators. But she still found his misconduct was at the “higher end” of the scale.
“I can think of few greater concerns for the community as a time when a police firearm is lost or stolen and yet to be recovered. This scenario poses a considerable liability to the organization and it places a significant weight on the service as we do not know when, if or how it may be used in the future,” Preston wrote.
But the community didn’t know that an officer had actually lost his gun; it was an event that never made the papers at the time. As the prosecutor noted: “If the public became aware that an issued firearm was not stored properly resulting in its loss within the community, the public would be rightly outraged.”
Petrie was a 15-year veteran with 20 commendations to his name and while demotion was a “live issue,” Preston concluded that there was no evidence to suggest this was anything but an isolated incident.
But she also issued a warning 17 months ago: “Any further appearances before the tribunal will impact Sgt. Petrie’s rank based on the seriousness of his transgressions to date.”
Source: Toronto Sun