Among the numerous competent and fit leaders in the Hamilton Police, there seems to be a select group of the contrary who seem to be promoted regardless.
One such example is Sgt. Dave Leclair. I know Sgt. Leclair to be a rather passively abrasive individual, who has had an ethical dilemma regarding my constructive dismissal. This would otherwise be referred to as lying.
I won't make this post solely about my experience, however, as the backstory is far more disturbing and concerning. Here is an article from 2015, a time when Sgt. Dave Leclair was stationed in Division 3, which is the mountain station in Hamilton.
For the sake of clarity, I encourage you to review the article in its totality, but I will go over some key points.
Later, the driver's husband – who is a friend of Sauve's – texted him to see if he could "do anything about it," documents show. Sauve first approached Dobroski about it and then asked his supervisor – Sgt. Dave LeClair – for access a secure box where ticket receipts are kept.
In short, a subordinate asked Sgt Dave Leclair if he would be willing to open the ticket submission box, to squash a ticket that was given to a friend's wife. At this point, an ethically bound supervisor would of course say no. The subordinate was asking to interfere with a legally issued ticket, which was issued by another officer. It's completely obvious that if Sgt. Leclair had one iota of ethics, he would not agree to opening the ticket box and should have had a corrective chat with the subordinate. But this post wouldn't exist had he done that very thing.
"LeClair, despite knowing that consideration was being shown in respect of a legally issued ticket, permitted access to the secure lock box," the documents read.
It was of course the opposite which Dave Leclair did, which as this post goes one, we'll see is a theme. Dave Leclair opened the ticket box and allowed the subordinate to "void" the ticket. Which was then later discovered, the subordinate charged and Dave Leclair not given one substantive correct input.
I've attached here a post, explaining in totality my grounds for why Dave Leclair ought to have been charged with a criminal offense. It stands to reason that he wasn't charged, as union boss Clint Twolan would later refer to Leclair as a "good guy". Good guys are criminals masquerading as cops.
Anyways, that was my first hearing of this Leclair. I worked in a different division than him, but it would seem that he was soon restructured to central station, and was my Sgt on patrol in 2016.
Now, my policing style was in direct opposition of Sgt. Leclair's. I often found myself trying to locate and hold to account the criminal element who threaten the safety of community members. It's more dangerous, yes, but the risk on my end alleviates risk to the public. Dave Leclair, on the other hand, seemed to be more interested in keeping his Staff Sgt, Treena Macsween, happy by handing out speeding tickets. I don't know very many Patrol Sgt's who take the time to give speeding tickets, but as Leclair's only claim to fame at this point was his ticket fiasco (and being on the police choir), I suppose he needed any W he could get.
Despite our policing styles being opposite, Leclair would occasionally find himself at calls for service which I responded to. On two separate occasions, Dave Leclair told me not to be so nice to people I was arresting. What that means is that I was being nice to people I was arresting, and Dave Leclair didn't like that. I suppose all those speeding tickets turned his heart black. I would like to strongly explain, that when a supervisor tells you to do something, it's a directive. So would I be subject to charges under the Police Services Act had I been nice to more people? I can assure you that I wouldn't be following a single order from Dave Leclair about delivery of services, considering his ethically void history. I thought it best to avoid him in the future so as not to draw charges to myself for not not being nice to people.
If you're ever wondering why lawsuits and problems stack up on the Hamilton Police, this attitude contributes in great amounts.
During Dave Leclair's time in central patrol in 2016, he also managed to once again find himself in the news for less than stellar reasons.
This article is from July 2016, in it you'll find some citizens were not impressed with how a patrol officer handled a call. An officer had made derogatory remarks about the subject of an interaction, and they tweeted about it shortly thereafter.
Now, the Hamilton Police may ignore tweets about their actual misfeasance, but when it comes to handling optics - they're all in. There's no better person, it seems, to spearhead an optics campaign than Dave Leclair.
Wong says she felt intimidated. She didn't understand why the police would just show up at her door instead of calling her to ask when she would be free to talk — considering she was a complainant, and not under investigation herself.
On second, though, maybe they should have selected another supervisor. Dave Leclair showed up unannounced to smooth things over, but he couldn't help but make the tweeting party feel intimidated. If only she knew that Leclair's specialty is ticketing compliant motorists.
It gets worse:
He says LeClair handed them a pamphlet for the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, which is an independent civilian oversight agency....
Good course of action, here's the forms for the OIPRD in the event you'd like to complaint....
"He also said something to the effect of, 'I would prefer you didn't take this route,'" Klassen said.
Oh jeez. So let me get this straight. Dave Leclair, a Sgt with the Hamilton Police, shows up unannounced and in an intimidating fashion to address a complaint a bystander has about the police. In addressing their concern, he suggests that they don't access the actual recourse which would result in anything constructive. That's not showing a very high degree of competence, empathy or leadership.
It shows someone who should have been demoted and charged after the first story I linked.
Let's move past that a few months to December 2016. A month when Staff Sgt Treena Macsween called me into her office, with Dave Leclair in attendance as well. I should have known better. A conversation came up about my use of social media, I explained myself very well, but Treena Macsween decided that I was suffering and decided to take my duty belt. During this, Dave Leclair acted in subservient fashion to Macsween, not once sticking up for my interest. What came after was perverse as more managers and the union came into the fold, all useless in maintaining objectivity or empathy for the situation Treena Macsween had forced.
Now, that's my side, but it's worth noting that Dave Leclair told several people that what Treena Macsween did to me was not necessary and wrong. Too bad he didn't mention that at the time in an effort to prevent it from continuing.
The theme of this post is that Dave Leclair has no ethical bearing, and is a yes person to management, not matter how unsound the situation. It should come as no surprise, then, that despite Leclair telling people Macsween was wrong, years later I would find his notes to be exactly in line with those of Treena Macsween.
So which is it? Well, the answer is it will be whatever serves Dave Leclair best. Whether it be committing a criminal offense to help a subordinate commit a criminal offense. Or to intimidate a citizen who has concerns about delivery of police services. Or to lie in his notebook regarding my interaction with a vindictive supervisor.
Dave Leclair's conduct has a negative impact on the public, and the police.
Every Dave, Dan and Diane in Hamilton deserves to know.
Thanks for reading,
- Josh Coulter