Ottawa police officer receives peace bond following domestic abuse charge

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19-year-old former Ottawa police officer will enter a peace bond to settle a domestic violence charge by promising to abstain from alcohol and keep the peace for a year .

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The officer was charged with assault following an incident in December 2020 at a home the woman shared with her then-partner.

The complainant’s name is protected by a publication ban and this newspaper does not name the officer due to the national nature of the original accusation.

Assistant Crown Attorney Monica Heine told the court on Friday that the assault charge was brought following an argument between the partners, where the complainant said the officer “ran to and grabbed (his partner) with both hands clasped”.

The incident was not reported to the police at the time and the complainant reported the incident to the police following another argument in February 2021.

Police were involved at the time, Heine said, and the officer was on leave from the Ottawa Police Service while the case was before the courts.

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Heine is a prosecutor in Kingston who was brought in from an outside jurisdiction to handle the case.

The officer and his partner have since separated “very amicably,” Heine said, and the officer has engaged in “intensive and very successful counseling.”

As part of the $500 peace bond, the officer cannot consume alcohol for one year and must keep order and be of good conduct.

Her attorney, Solomon Friedman, told the court the woman was a 19-year veteran police officer and presented ten letters of support from fellow officers and superiors.

She suffered from the lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, and Friedman described the “underlying issues” that contributed to the incident.

The officer served “in extremely stressful and high-profile roles as an investigator” in major police operations and also served as an undercover officer trainer with the guns and gangs unit.

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“We know the toll – mentally, physically and emotionally — that asking our officers to engage in this type of activity can take them, and unfortunately (the officer), like so many others, was not immune,” Friedman said.

Despite challenges with PTSD, Friedman said, the officer performed his duties “to an exceptionally high standard,” an assessment shared by his superiors in letters filed in court.

“From the time of his charges, (the officer) took full charge of his mental health and his physical and emotional health,” Friedman said. “She attends Alcoholics Anonymous regularly. She’s been clean and sober and she can’t wait to get back to work, just as her supporters can’t wait to find her…”

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Heine said the plaintiff was “very supportive” of the resolution.

Ontario Court of Justice Judge Robert Wadden said he reviewed each of the letters of support and said he was struck by how “commendable” the letters were in their description of the officer.

“They talked about your exemplary character, your great work ethic (and) the professionalism you’ve shown throughout your career,” Wadden said. “I have every confidence in you to resume your career and continue the contributions to this community that you have made over the years.”

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