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Barrie police inspector's tribunal hearing adjourned to April

Insp. Valarie Gates charged with discreditable conduct under Police Services Act; next date set for April 18
Barrie police Insp. Valarie Gates has been charged with discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act. The nature of the allegations remains unclear.

A tribunal hearing for a high-ranking Barrie police officer has been adjourned until April in order for additional disclosure to take place.

Insp. Valarie Gates is charged with discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act.

During a brief teleconference call this morning, prosecutor Jessica Barrow confirmed that the “largest and initial batch of disclosure has been provided to defence,” but noted a few additional items have continued to “trickle out” since then as they’ve become available and will continue to do so.

The Feb. 29 call, which also included defence lawyer Joanne Mulcahy and the hearing officer, retired Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) superintendent Morris Elbers, lasted just over two minutes.

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

"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."

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

However, the nature of the allegations against Gates remains unclear. 

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.

Due to scheduling conflict, and the expectation that additional disclosure requests will be forthcoming, a request was made for additional time in order for that to occur. 

The hearing adjourned to April 18 at 9 a.m. via teleconference.