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Toronto police officer docked week's pay over 'range' of inappropriate remarks

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A Toronto police officer has been docked a week’s pay after he was found to have made a number of derogatory remarks to colleagues and civilians.

The decision came after Detective Jeffrey LaFosse of the Toronto Police Service (TPS) pleaded guilty to one count of discreditable conduct in a December 2023 hearing, presided over by Inspector Suzanne Redman.

He must also undergo mandatory equity and inclusion training within 60 days.

LaFosse, who has been with the service since 1999 but has been serving on administrative duty for the last year, admitted to making a range of remarks to his fellow officers in June 2022, some of which were found to have disparaged civilians and made light of the service's mandatory gender and sexuality training.

In a statement provided to CTV News Toronto, the Toronto Police Service said that it will "let the Hearing Officer’s decision speak for itself."

"The Toronto Police Service expects every member of the Service to conduct themselves with professionalism, integrity, and respect. Those who fail to meet our clear professional standards are held to account through the disciplinary process," a spokesperson said. 

The first incident put forth to the tribunal took place at a murder scene in Scarborough on June 5, 2022. Officers at the scene were trying to save a victim’s life while surrounded by a crowd that was clearly and audibly upset, according to an Agreed Statement of Facts filed with the tribunal.

As captured on a body-worn camera, LaFosse walked away from the crowd and began briefing officers who’d just arrived by stating, “So, you can see what we're being met with…f**king dicks.”

In her findings, Redman wrote that she would “expect any officer, much less a Supervisory Officer with 24 years of policing experience, to have the maturity and professionalism to not make an unprofessional comment out of frustration to co-workers.”

Redman said she was further concerned by the decision to make the comment while wearing a body-worn camera, as there was a "high probability" it could be disclosed and bring reputational damage to the service.

In another instance, about two weeks later, LaFosse referred to TPS’ ‘Gender Diversity and Trans Inclusion’ training as ‘the gay and lesbian course’ when reminding officers to complete the course.

While the tribunal heard LaFosse never meant the comment to be derogatory, Redman wrote that “had he had a full appreciation of the contents of that course, he would have known that calling the course “the gay and lesbian course” is not in fact an accurate short form.”

In the final incident considered at the hearing, which took place on June 21, 2022, LaFosse called a civilian looking for information on an accused’s release conditions a “low life” and a “loser" over the phone.

In deciding on a penalty for LaFosse, Redman wrote that the detective's comments were inappropriate and that he “ought to have known they would be unwelcome and/or offensive" but that he had also shown both remorse and an acceptance of responsibility in the time since they were made.

In turn, the inspector wrote that a pay dock and mandatory training was suitable as a penalty.

The Toronto Police Association declined to speak when reached for comment on the ruling.

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