EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally said the peace officer’s “employment with the City of Edmonton was terminated.” It has since been updated to clarify that while the peace officer lost their job, they were never technically employed by the City of Edmonton.
Ten days after a peace officer, who faced allegations that they were sleeping while they were supposed to be enforcing speed limits, was let go from their job, a City of Edmonton official has issued a statement on the matter.
“As of Dec. 27, 2019, this contractor is no longer involved with photo enforcement and the City of Edmonton,” said Brian Simpson, the city’s branch manager for parks and roads.
In an emailed statement on Monday, Simpson said the city received the complaint about the worker on Oct. 17, 2019.
“The complaint was investigated by the Traffic Safety Section at the City of Edmonton, under the Alberta Peace Officer Act,” Simpson said. “Upon completion of the investigation, the peace officer was found to be failing to make adequate observations relating to the movement of traffic at their enforcement site, during their Oct. 17, 2019 shift.
“As a result of this investigation, no photo-enforcement tickets from that peace officer were issued or mailed to drivers for that entire shift on Oct. 17.”
Last week, Jack Shultz, the man who reported the peace officer to the city, said he was still hoping to find out how many tickets the worker gave out between Oct. 18 and the day she was let go.
Shultz said he hopes to find that information via a freedom of information request.
Simpson said Monday that since first receiving the complaint, the city developed processes “to confirm that this peace officer was actively monitoring traffic when working subsequent shifts.”
Simpson added that “if someone wishes to notify the city about anything related to a photo enforcement operator, they can contact 311.”
“Peace officers perform an important function in improving traffic safety,” he said. “Photo enforcement is one aspect of the city’s diverse approach to achieving Vision Zero of no fatalities and no serious injuries from traffic collisions.
“Peace officers are expected to actively monitor traffic and their equipment for the entire shift to ensure the accuracy of photo enforcement infractions.”
Simpson added that it was “important to note that peace officers who conduct photo enforcement are not employees of the City of Edmonton but rather contractors.”
Shultz has raised concerns that he believes the city’s photo radar enforcement program is more of a cash cow for the city than it is about catching speeders and making streets safer.
On Monday, Mayor Don Iveson defended the program.
“In this particular case, if there’s an issue of fairness in the particular enforcement, then you fix that particular issue and I think that’s just and that’s right in this case.”