Calgary's police chief says that for now he won't accept the resignation of a female officer who broke down in tears at a public meeting over sexual harassment and bullying she says she faces on the job.
Const. Jennifer Magnus Ward, a 14-year veteran of the force, tried to tender her resignation at the Calgary Police Commission hearing Tuesday.
After she finished her presentation, police Chief Roger Chaffin moved in and put his hand on her shoulder while Ward shook her head no and sat down.
Ward read from a statement at the meeting outlining how she had decided to stand up for other members as well as civilian staff who were trying to seek "equality and justice"'
— Calgary Herald (@calgaryherald) February 1, 2017
She and another officer went to former chief Rick Hanson with their concerns, which led to a human resources audit in 2013.
She said she thought the CPS would hear their concerns and complaints and act to remedy the problem, but instead she said she was "blamed and disliked for taking a stand for what was right.''
Calgary's police chief Roger Chaffin says that for now he won't accept the resignation. (Photo: The Canadian Press)
"Maybe I didn't always say the right things or maintain political correctness but I stand by the ... article I wrote," she said.
Police commission chairman Brian Thiessen said the efforts of Ward in raising awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace is going to result in significant change.
"I think she is going to achieve a great amount of change, I think she has already moved the needle incredibly far ahead," said Thiessen, adding "it is a No. 1 priority of the commission, and therefore the service, because of her actions and those like her.''
"Maybe I didn't always say the right things or maintain political correctness but I stand by the ... article I wrote."
Chaffin said the department is working toward addressing issues of sexual harassment in the police force.
Outside the gathering, he told reporters he wants to have a chance to talk to her about her concerns.
"It's not the way you would accept any letter of resignation from an employee. You can see how emotionally charged she was, and the difficulty in that presentation. We will wait some time and circle back to her to talk to about this."
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