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Barrie police inspector facing second discreditable conduct charge

'The two charges are related to the same series of events,' says Barrie police official; next hearing for Insp. Val Gates set for Wednesday morning
Barrie police Insp. Val Gates faces a second charge of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act.

A second discreditable conduct charge has been laid against a high-ranking Barrie officer under the Police Services Act. 

Insp. Val Gates was first charged in December 2023 with one charge of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act, stemming from an alleged internal incident that happened while on duty.

The second charge, according to police officials, was laid early last week.

“I can only state: The two charges are related to the same series of events,” Barrie police communications co-ordinator Peter Leon said.

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

The specific nature of the allegations against Gates remains unclear.

Police have said the charge falls under Section 2(1)(a)(xi) of the Police Services Act. 

"An allegation of an on-duty internal incident was received by Barrie Police Deputy Chief R. Wyllie Allan earlier this year involved a 26-year officer of the service who holds the rank of inspector," stated the December 2023 news release. "After receiving the complaint, Deputy Chief Allan requested the assistance of the OPP to conduct the investigation."

“Our members are held to the highest standards of professionalism by the public, and our service, and as such, we take any allegation of misconduct very seriously," Allan said in the release. 

"A request was made to the OPP to conduct a comprehensive investigation into these allegations, ensuring a transparent and impartial process. The Barrie Police Service recognizes that building and maintaining public trust is of critical importance," Allan added at the time. 

Gates, who is married to Barrie Police Service 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.

The next hearing date is scheduled for Wednesday, June 12, beginning at 8:30 a.m. via teleconference.

A second hearing date is also scheduled for later this month on June 26, also via teleconference, according to the department’s Police Services Act – Tribunal Dates page on its website.