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Windsor Chief retires under media firestorm

WINDSOR, Ont. - Embattled Windsor police Chief Gary Smith announced his immediate retirement Thursday amid allegations of police brutality and other misconduct by his officers.

At a hastily arranged news conference Thursday, Mayor Eddie Francis, chairman of the Windsor Police Services Board, announced Smith’s abrupt departure. Deputy Chief Al Frederick will take over as acting chief until a permanent replacement is found, Francis said. “We are going to take steps to change the culture at the Windsor Police Service,” Francis said. “The public is asking questions. We are ask- ing questions.”

Francis said changes are coming “deep into the organization” and hinted that Smith’s departure won’t be the last. Smith’s contract as chief was to expire Dec. 31, 2012. He will continue to be paid until September, using vacation days he has accrued in his 371⁄2 years as a police officer. He became chief in April 2008. Francis, flanked by Smith and Frederick, called Smith’s early departure “for the good of the organization.”


December 30, 2011
By Corrie Sloot

WINDSOR, Ont. – Embattled Windsor police Chief Gary Smith announced his immediate retirement Thursday amid allegations of police brutality and other misconduct by his officers.

At a hastily arranged news conference Thursday, Mayor Eddie Francis, chairman of the Windsor Police Services Board, announced Smith’s abrupt departure.
Deputy Chief Al Frederick will take over as acting chief until a permanent replacement is found, Francis said. “We are going to take steps to change the culture at the Windsor Police Service,” Francis said. “The public is asking questions. We are ask- ing questions.”

Francis said changes are coming “deep into the organization” and hinted that Smith’s departure won’t be the last. Smith’s contract as chief was to expire Dec. 31, 2012. He will continue to be paid until September, using vacation days he has
accrued in his 371⁄2 years as a police officer. He became chief in April 2008.
Francis, flanked by Smith and Frederick, called Smith’s early departure “for the good of the organization.”

The Windsor Star has run investigative stories this week about Det. David Van Buskirk, who is charged with assault in the April 22, 2010, beating of Dr. Tyceer Abouhassan outside the Jackson Park Medical Centre. Abouhassan has filed a $14.2-million lawsuit alleging Van Buskirk lied about the event and other officers tried to cover it up by pursuing bogus charges against him.

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Smith also came under fire, along with other police chiefs in the province, from the Ontario ombudsman, who suggested they are shirking their duty to co-operate with provincial investigators in cases in which officers have seriously injured or killed people or are accused of sexual assault. The Star reported this week that the chief did not report the Abouhassan incident as required by law.

At Thursday’s media conference, Smith said he didn’t do anything wrong.


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