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Sgt. Jim Saxon met the criteria (20 years, discipline free) for the Police Exemplary Service Medal, but Amherstburg Police Chief Marentette refused to nominate him. Why?
Prior to Marentette's tenure as chief, local police officers, including Marentette, were automatically awarded the medal, as is the practice in police services across the province.
In June, 1985, the Ontario Police Commission made recommendations based on its public inquiry into the conduct of employees and management of the department, including then-Constable Ray Marentette.
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Brian Bird, hired in December, 1998 as the new Amherstburg Police Chief when Fryer retired, was advised about the twenty year exemplary service medal. According to a January, 1999 letter from R. Middaugh, then-Assistant Deputy Minister to the Solicitor General, "it is our understanding that this will be addressed as soon as practicable." Bird retired in December, 2001 and Staff/Sgt. Ray Marentette became Acting/Chief. Saxon reminded Marentette in January, 2002 that he is awaiting the medal, but Marentette repeatedly asked for a written submission as to why Saxon feels he is deserving of the medal. Twelve memos have been written back and forth, including one from the Amherstburg Police Association.
The Amherstburg Police Services Board passed the following motion at its February 17, 2003 in camera meeting:
"It was moved by Mr. DiBartolomeo and seconded by Mr. Kral THAT both presentations from Garnet Dufour and Luigi DiPierdomenico, on behalf of Jim Saxon, be received and that correspondence be forwarded to each advising them that the Police Chief's request represents consistent application of procedures which apply to all members of the Amherstburg Police Service. Furthermore that it be conveyed to them that their requests have not been denied and once the requested information is received, the Police Chief will undertake to review their submission and determine if they comply with all aspects of the Exemplary Service Award". CARRIED
In June, 2003, Linda Saxon wrote to the Amherstburg Police Services Board requesting delegate status to make a presentation regarding Chief Marentette’s refusal to nominate her husband for the PESM, his failure to respond to her May 23 letter from the Saxon Family and his handling of her complaint against Cst. Wiley.
On July 14, 2003 Linda received an undated letter from the Amherstburg Police Services Board secretary, advising that she would be notified of the outcome of her June, 2003 request.
An October, 2003 letter from the Amherstburg Police Services Board to Linda Saxon advised that the board reviewed her correspondence during an in-camera meeting. The board concluded that her request violates the Police Services Act (an impossibility, since the Act only governs police officers); she was invited to contact Marentette.
Prior to his becoming Mayor in November 2003, Wayne Hurst said that Sgt. Saxon and retired Sgt. Dufour would not even have to ask for their 20 and 30 year medals if he were Mayor. He never provided a reason why they did not receive their medals throughout his 3 year term.
In January, 2004, Linda wrote to Mayor Hurst, Chair, Amherstburg Police Services Board requesting delegate status at the next meeting. "Since I initially requested delegate status last June, and since I was unnecessarily prevented from attending, I would appreciate being advised of the date, time and place of the next meeting as soon as possible."
On January 19, Linda received a telephone message, after the fact, from the Amherstburg Police Services Board secretary advising the meeting would take place in 20 minutes.
At the February, 2004 public Amherstburg Police Service Board meeting, Linda Saxon made a presentation (including 54 pages of material) and requested the board nominate Saxon for his medal.
In a letter received in April, Linda Saxon was notified that it was moved by Mr. Kral, seconded by Mr. Hurst (chair, Amherstburg Police Services Board and curent Mayor of Amherstburg), to restate the original motion of February 2003.
Sgt. Garnet Dufour retired in December, 2002, after 30 years of service, without having received his 30 year bar, despite submitting two letters, as Marentette requested. He previously received his 20 year medal while serving with Anderdon Police Service (now amalgamated with Amherstburg Police Service).
The Amherstburg Police Service and the Amherstburg Police Services Board held a Citzen/Police Recognition and Service Awards night on October 17, 2006 where Sgt. Saxon was to receive his 20 year medal (for 28 and 1/2 years service) and retired Sgt. Dufour was to receive his 30 year bar. Retired Chief Marentette was also scheduled to receive his 30 year bar. Neither Sgt. Saxon nor his family attended the awards night.