A former member of the Regina Police Service is waiting to hear if he will get his job back after being fired in August 2020.
Colin Magee is appealing the decision before the Saskatchewan Police Commission, in a week-long hearing that wrapped up Friday.
According to the agreed statement of facts, Magee was dismissed by police chief Evan Bray after he was deemed “unsuitable for continued employment.”
In 2019, Magee was charged with two counts of common assault. While he pled guilty to one count involving a 13-year-old boy, in which he received a conditional discharge, he was found not guilty of the second account involving a 42-year-old man.
Magee was also charged with assault in 2017 in connection to a 2016 incident, but that charge was withdrawn after the case went through mediation.
During the hearing, Magee testified that he was under a large amount of stress in both his work and personal life beginning in 2015.
He testified that his wife was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease and is now on permanent disability.
Magee also said he was psychologically affected by certain incidents at work, including a ring road fatality and a youth suicide.
Then, in 2016, his father-in-law, who he described as his best friend, died from cancer.
That same year he went on a leave of absence from work due to the toll on his mental heath. He went on medical leave again in September of 2019, returning in February of 2020.
Jodi Krechowiecki, a close family friend, testified on Magee’s behalf, saying, “he’s always been very proud of being a police officer and how he’s helped people.”
She said the search for a treatment for his wife’s illness was a constant stress on the family.
Craig Solomon, an RPS constable, who’s known Magee for many years also spoke on his behalf.
“I could see that the challenges in his personal life and what was going on through work was weighing heavy on him,” Solomon testified.
While Magee was never formally disciplined, he was served on several occasions with advice to future conduct.
His lawyer, Aaron Fox, also noted that Magee had been seeking help from a psychologist employed with the RPS beginning in 2016.
Fox pointed to his client’s willingness to take responsibility for his actions, noting the assault on the 13-year-old boy in 2018.
According to the agreed statement of facts, during the booking of the boy, Magee located an unknown substance in his property.
The youth would not identify the substance and Magee who was concerned that it could be fentanyl came down from the booking desk, he eventually grabbed the boy and took him to the ground.
“I behaved entirely inappropriately… and I was entirely wrong,” Magee testified.
“Although I am ashamed of the mistakes I’ve made, I’m not ashamed to own up to them,” he later added.
At one point Magee turned to Bray and apologized, saying if he is reinstated as a police officer he would do better.
“I would like the opportunity to serve the public again and to make amends, and to the utmost of my ability perform my role as a police officer again in service to the community, and I will work diligently to do the best that I can to remain in good standing for the remainder of my career,” said Magee.
During closing arguments, RPS legal counsel Katrina Swan said the incident involving the 13-year-old boy called into question the suitability of Magee.
Swan said from Bray’s point-of-view it jeopardized public trust and raised issues of police accountability and integrity.
She also argued that when looking at the bigger picture, there is a pattern of aggression.
Earlier in the week, Bray testified that his decision to fire Magee was not based on competency and therefore he did not think that training or discipline would have fixed the situation.
At the same time, during cross-examination, Fox argued that no pattern of behaviour existed and rather the issues at hand could have been fixed through remedial efforts.
Fox said at any point Bray could have looked into treatment, guidance or counselling but didn’t.
He pointed to Magee’s 18-year career with RPS, noting that the incidents in questions all happened within a two-year span. He added they were incidents which stem from stress in both Magee’s work and personal life.
Since he was dismissed from the RPS Magee said he’s been working on a farm near Pense.
The decision has been reserved for a later date.