August 11, 2017 6:29 pm
Updated: August 11, 2017 6:41 pm

Toronto police chief bans ‘rookie buy nights’ following sexual assault trial

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders has banned officer "rookie buy nights" effective immediately.

Lars Hagberg / File / The Canadian Press
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Days after three Toronto police officers were found not guilty of sexually assaulting a parking enforcement officer, Chief Mark Saunders is calling for “rookie buy nights” to end “immediately.”

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Justice Anne Molloy found Constables Leslie Nyznik, Joshua Cabero and Sameer Kara not guilty Wednesday of sexually assaulting a female colleague on a night of heavy drinking. A Toronto police source confirmed to Global News that an internal memo was issued by senior officers in the wake of the ruling.

“In recent, and very public, revelations in the court, Justice Molloy was provided with evidence that spoke about ‘regular initiation-type rituals for new officers,’” the memo read.

READ MORE: 3 Toronto police officers found not guilty of sexually assaulting female colleague

“Our chief has made it clear that these events are not consistent with our policing culture.”

The memo said, “off-duty social gatherings are an important element of our policing culture,” strengthen camaraderie and provide support, but “even when off duty, our members must be accountable for their adherence, or lack thereof, to the core values of the Toronto Police Service.”

According to the document, the ban of “rookie buy nights” is immediate.

“Please inform your management teams that disorderly behaviours, including excessive alcohol consumption and the unfair expectation of junior members to pay for others, are to end immediately,” the memo read.

READ MORE: 3 Toronto police officers sexually assaulted colleague after ‘rookie’ night, Crown says

“Supervisors, especially, will be held accountable for their role in, their endorsement of, and their failure to address, conduct unbecoming of a member of the police service.”

When contacted by Global News about the memo, a Toronto police spokeswoman wouldn’t comment on the directive. She said Saunders continues to work with the professional standards bureau after Justice Molloy’s ruling.

During the sexual assault trial, court heard Kara had invited the complainant to join in on a “rookie buy night,” where rookie officers buy drinks for the veterans. The two, who worked out of the same division, had become friends, court heard.

With files from The Canadian Press

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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