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Deputy chief, two senior London police officers take medical leave

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A London police deputy chief and two senior officers have taken medical leaves within the last two weeks, sources told The London Free Press

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A London police deputy chief and two senior officers have taken medical leaves within the last two weeks, sources told The London Free Press.

Deputy Chief Trish McIntyre and two senior officers – a superintendent and an inspector – are off the job after taking medical leaves this month, said two sources, both who asked not to be identified because they didn’t want to speak publicly about the sensitive issue.

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The loss of the three  – with more than 60 years of combined experience – comes on the heels of the firing of the three most-senior civilian police staffers earlier this month. The senior leadership team – made up of Chief Thai Truong and three deputies – was to oversee the three affected departments on an interim basis.

Director of legal services, Patty Malone, director of human resources, Lindsay Ferrier, and Rob Levecky, director of facilities, finance and fleet, were let go May 1 following an internal review to find efficiencies to help modernize the force, police board chairperson Ali Chahbar said in an internal email to police employees obtained by The Free Press.

“It would be inappropriate for me to comment on personnel matters involving our members and therefore, I am unable to offer anything further in this regard,” Chahbar said Wednesday when asked about the senior officers taking medical leaves.

“That being said, in terms of process, the board will likely appoint an acting deputy chief at our meeting (Thursday) to temporarily assume the role while the chief will address any operational positions within his senior leadership team. This is standard operating process when temporary vacancies arise.” 

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McIntyre, who joined London police as a cadet in 1999, worked in various roles – major crimes, the professional standards branch, patrol operations and investigations – before making the unprecedented jump from acting inspector, while holding the of rank staff sergeant, to deputy chief in 2019.

She became the first female to helm the force last year when she served as interim chief for several months in 2023 after the retirement of Chief Steve Williams, who gave a cryptic nod to McIntyre to replace him during his final public address.

McIntyre, who had the support of many rank-and-file officers to become the next chief, applied for the top job, but was beat out by Truong, the first external chief hire in more than 25 years. Truong came to London from York Regional police, where he served 21 years and had investigative experience in organized crime, drug and human trafficking, homicides and child exploitation.

McIntyre declined comment.

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Truong has made a series of bold moves since becoming the city’s 21st police chief a year ago, saying London isn’t a safe city and the force has suffered from years of underinvestment.

His pledge to modernize the force and change the way police deliver service got a big boost earlier this year when city council approved a record-setting $672-million police budget over the next four years, including a $168-million budget this year, a 28 per cent increase from last year.

As part of his plan, Truong brought on a third deputy, Treena MacSween, a former Hamilton police superintendent, who was sworn in last month. She’s handling the administrative portfolio, while deputy Paul Bastien is in charge of operations and McIntyre oversees special units.

Truong wasn’t available for an interview Wednesday, a police spokesperson said.

Labour lawyer Susan Toth, a former police board chairperson who was retained by two of the terminated former police civilian employees, earlier questioned how police will offer better service by replacing “its most qualified experts” with uniformed officers.

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“This is irresponsible from a risk-management perspective,” Toth previously said. “Contrary to the statement by the board, absolutely no review process was undertaken before the action was suddenly and unilaterally carried out.”

The London Police Association, the union representing nearly 900 officers and civilian staff, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

But the association posted a statement on social media: “Our members are entitled to privacy as they navigate their personal affairs. We will not comment on any personal matters of our members in the media or elsewhere.”

dcarruthers@postmedia.com

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