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Peter Sloly resignation as chief was 'mutually agreeable': Ottawa Police Services Board chair

Diane Deans calls the ongoing trucker convoy protests a 'carnival of chaos' and that the response to the crisis has been so far ineffective.
2019-08-26 ottawa police chief sloly JP1
Peter Sloly was named Ottawa's new Chief of Police on August 26, 2019. (Jenn Pritchard/CityNews Ottawa)

The chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board says the police service's parting with Peter Sloly was "mutually agreeable" following the announcement of the former chief's resignation earlier Tuesday afternoon.

"We thank Chief Sloly for his service to the city of Ottawa," Diane Deans said during a special meeting on Tuesday, February 15. "As this is a labour relations matter, no further comment will be made. ... The board is already at work to put in place a new command structure and will be appointing a new chief very soon.

"Frankly, the response to this crisis so far has been ineffective at bringing this occupation to an end and restoring peace and security in Ottawa. The OPS has been unable to adequately enforce our laws and our residents continue to be terrorized — it isn't good enough."

She said last week, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) sent a message to "Freedom Convoy" protesters that they should expect a strong police response to illegal activity.

However, Deans said street parties raged this past weekend, and stages, sound systems, screens, hot tubs and an outdoor gym were erected.

Moreover, she added that there were more trucks lined up along Parliament Hill on Tuesday, February 15 compared to the day before.

"Like other residents in Ottawa, I have watched in disbelief as this carnival of chaos has been allowed to continue," she said. "While I appreciate that resource constraints have been a big limitation, it's both puzzling and frustrating that the OPS has been unable to do more with the current resources."

Without the 1,800 additional bodies that were requested to help the OPS, Sloly said in a Friday, February 11 briefing that the force can't do much without the extra manpower.

Following Sloly's resignation, Deputy Chief Steve Bell will step in as interim chief.

Just after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 15, Sloly released a statement about stepping down as the OPS police chief.

"Since the onset of this demonstration, I have done everything possible to keep this city safe and put an end to this unprecedented and foreseeable crisis," he wrote. "We have acquired new resources and enforcement tools, and stood up the new integrated command centre. I am confident the Ottawa Police Service is now better positioned to end this occupation."

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said in a letter on Tuesday, February 15 that it became clear many people were unsatisfied with the OPS' response in bringing the "Freedom Convoy" protest occupation to an end.

"I want to thank Peter Sloly for his 30+ years serving the Toronto and Ottawa police services," Watson said in the letter. "His dedication to public service is well-known by the many colleagues, community groups and residents he has worked with throughout his career."

Chris Stoodley

About the Author: Chris Stoodley

Chris was born and raised in Halifax. After graduating from the journalism program at King's, he started as CityNews Halifax's weekend editor.
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