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Barrie police inspector makes brief appearance before tribunal

Insp. Valarie Gates charged with discreditable conduct under Police Services Act; conference call between involved parties scheduled for Feb. 29
Barrie police Insp. Valarie Gates has been charged with discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act. The nature of the allegations remain unclear.

Barrie police Insp. Valarie Gates made her first appearance before a Police Services Act tribunal via Zoom this morning.

The Jan. 23 appearance, which lasted less than seven minutes, was in relation to a charge of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act. The hearing was initially scheduled for Jan, 12, but had been delayed due to a scheduling issue.

Prosecutor Jessica Barrow noted she had the opportunity to speak to defence lawyer Joanne Mulcahy on Jan. 22 about evidence disclosure, adding although they are in the process of providing disclosure to the defence, that has not yet been completed. 

Barrow added she believes that will likely occur with the next week or two.

Following that, the defence would require some time to review the information.

A telephone conference call between Gates and her lawyer, the prosecutor and the hearing officer — retired Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) superintendent Morris Elbers — has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 29.

Barrie city police issued a news release on Dec. 1, 2023 indicating the charge had been laid after a recent investigation was conducted by the OPP Office of Professionalism, Respect, Inclusion and Leadership. 

The nature of the allegations against Gates remain unclear. 

The alleged incident stems from "an on-duty, internal incident," according to the Barrie police department's upcoming hearings page.

"An allegation of an on-duty internal incident was received by Barrie Police Deputy Chief R. Wyllie Allan earlier this year involving a 26-year officer of the service who holds the rank of inspector," stated the release. "After receiving the complaint, Deputy Chief Allan requested the assistance of the OPP to conduct the investigation."

Gates, who is married to Barrie Police Chief Rich Johnston, has spent a large part of her policing career working in domestic violence, as well as in areas of mental health and child/youth advocacy.

About the Author: Nikki Cole

Nikki Cole has been a community issues reporter for BarrieToday since February, 2021
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