Global News has confirmed the five Lethbridge Police Service employees involved in a misconduct hearing — and suspended with pay — are all officers.
The situation involves memes that were created in 2018 — that depicted members of the LPS brass, including then-Chief Rob Davis and Deputy Chief Scott Woods.
The case was investigated by the Edmonton Police Service, which submitted its findings to LPS this past December.
That investigation also uncovered the possibility of more general misconduct. The incidents all happened during a time when Global News reported the morale among police officers as being very low.
An internal Lethbridge Police Association survey conducted in December of 2018 found officers were dealing with what was described as a “toxic work environment” and were unhappy with police leadership.
LPS is once again reiterating that this situation is “unrelated” to the allegations of unauthorized surveillance involving MLA Shannon Phillips, which is currently under investigation by ASIRT.
Lethbridge Police Association president Jay McMillan told Global News there is a genuine interest by the entire police service — including the new chief — to improve the workplace environment, adding members of the LPS remain committed to the safety and well being of the community.
In a statement issued Monday, police said the five suspended officers will undergo a professional misconduct hearing under the police service regulation and police act.
The statement also said the details of the hearing, which is expected to be public, will be posted to the Lethbridge police website in due course.