London Police Chief John Pare at a Police Services Board Meeting. (Photo by Miranda Chant, BlackburnNews.com)

Police Chief Says Officers Have ‘Difficult Job’ After Four Charged

London’s chief of police is asking the public to “respect the judicial process” in the wake of charges being laid against four of his officers in just over two months.

Chief John Pare issued a statement late Friday afternoon, asking the public to have patience.

“Members of the London Police Service are professionals that come to work each and every day to do the best job they can to make our community safe,” Pare said in the statement. “They respond to calls for service with the goal of helping those involved – it is a difficult job. As with any person charged with a criminal offence, our officers deserve to be treated fairly and have the right to their day in court, when the justice system will have the opportunity to review and weigh all of the evidence in its entirety. I urge the London community to be patient and respect the judicial process.”

The statement comes after criminal charges were laid against four of his officers in an ten week period.

Back in May, Constable Theresa Clayton was charged with assault causing bodily harm, and Constable Jeff Lake is was charged with assault.  The charges stem from incident that occurred in June 2016, when a 40-year-old man was injured during an interaction with police.

In June, Sergeant Peter Paquette was charged of assault in connection with an incident that occurred on September 6, 2016 at London Police Service Headquarters.

As well, it was announced on Thursday that Constable Nicholas Doering has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessaries of life in connection to the September 2016 death of 39-year-old Debra Chrisjohn.  An Elgin OPP officer, Constable Mark McKillop, also faces the same charges.

“This is a difficult time for the victims’ families, the community and our officers,” Para also said in his statement. “As you know, I am not permitted to comment on the SIU investigations or the upcoming judicial process involving the London Police Service members charged criminally.”