An Open Letter to Chief Bryan Larkin

By  | January 19, 2018 | 7 Comments | Filed under: Waterloo Police class action lawsuit
Jan 18 2018

The following letter is written by five members of the Sexual Violence Task Force (SVTF). The SVTF was created by Chief Larkin of the Waterloo Regional Police Service to address high “unfounded” rates for sexual assaults. (“Unfounded” is a police reporting classification meaning that a crime never occurred and was not attempted.) From 2010 to 2014, the Canadian national unfounded average for all police services was 19%, while Waterloo Region was significantly higher at 27% (Globe & Mail, February 3, 2017). The SVTF is conducting a historical review of unfounded cases, as well as creating a template for ongoing, community-based, advocate review of sexual assault cases in the Waterloo Region. 


Dear Chief Larkin,

We write to you with respect, kindness, and concern.

We are deeply troubled by how the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) has chosen to publicly respond to the recent class action lawsuit against the service.

When the lawyer retained by the WRPS went out of his way to challenge allegations outside of court (CBC News, January 11, 2018), we became very concerned about how his message, on behalf of the WRPS, would be understood by our community. Then, when you felt compelled to defend your staff in the media and cited progress on gender equity, without naming gender disparity as a very real issue within policing (CBC News, January 16, 2018), our worries increased.

  1. Messages such as these can have far-reaching, negative impacts on women and girls, particularly survivors of gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence. As you know, survivors already struggle to come forward, to be believed, to find safe spaces for healing and justice.
  2. These responses diminished the work of the Sexual Violence Task Force (SVTF), indicating a lack of understanding or acknowledgement, or maybe even a rejection, of a connection between gendered disparities/harms in policing and how effectively police respond to survivors of sexual violence.

We want to be clear: we believe survivors!

We want our community to understand that the important work of the SVTF cannot be separated from the work of creating gender equity/justice in policing, or the need for equitable, healthy relationships between all genders in Waterloo Region. Acknowledging gender bias is fundamental to improving police culture and creating better outcomes for survivors who choose to report to police.

Our hope would be to continue to move forward with the critically important work of the SVTF. Together with you, we are committed to improving police responses to survivors of sexual violence and to ending gender-based violence in all its forms.

We look forward to further dialogue.


Lyndsey Butcher, Executive Director of SHORE Centre & Co-Chair of the Sex Workers Action Network

Sara Casselman, Executive Director, Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region

Elizabeth Clarke, CEO, YW Kitchener-Waterloo

Kim Decker, Executive Director, YWCA Cambridge

Judah Oudshoorn, Volunteer, Male Allies program of the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region



7 Responses to An Open Letter to Chief Bryan Larkin

    Alan Marshall January 19, 2018 at 9:55 am

    I have had personal dealings with the lawyer for the Regional Police and their Union.

    He is an expensive, hotshot legal eagle and in my opinion short on scruples and ethics based upon my dealings with him.

    He attempted to blackmail/intimidate me to keep me out of court in regards to the Mayor Sandy Shantz Election Financing scandal of 2015.

      Farley Morton January 22, 2018 at 7:59 am

      Probably not a good idea to libel a lawyer by calling him “short on scruples and ethics.”

    Alan Marshall January 22, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Farley: I take your comment to me as intended to be helpful and cautionary. Thank you. That said I have learned the hard way what can and cannot be said along with understanding that written backup of one’s claims is essential. Despite that I have also learned the hard way that money rules, most especially in a court of law. The Police Services Board & Police Union (oops Association) will spend to the last cent, taxpayers money, in an attempt to financially crush the class action lawsuit and its’ participants. Then and only then, if still necessary, will they argue the merits (facts) of the case. It is not impossible that these so and so’s might negotiate a Settlement early on but I am doubtful. I sincerely hope I am wrong. Regarding myself even with iron clad evidence of my truthfulness, a petty, vindictive individual with lots of money could still sue me for Libel. Unless 1) the media are cowed as they were in 1999 and or 2) they have an idiot judge at their disposal this would be very risky to them as the truth might just get out even further.

      WATCHFUL EYE January 22, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Alan: I think we have to watch the actions on this case very closely. If the allegations turn out to be true I think there might end up being a ‘housecleaning’ among the upper management of the WRPS. This is going to us the taxpayer BIG TIME for something that has been just ‘swept under the carpet’ of this ‘boys club.’ It’s about time they realize women are not mere ‘objects’ with which they can do or say whatever their ‘filthy’ thoughts press them to do. I admire these people for coming forward and resident of the region need to get engaged in this. Yes Monteiro and Mann are INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GULITY, but now that this has come out into the open, one has to ask, just how much CREDIBILITY do these two members really have now??

      Kelly Donovan January 24, 2018 at 9:07 am

      Here is an interesting article about Melanson:

      Also note, the decision was rendered in this case, in Melanson’s favour, meaning the officer has to pay $25,000 to a man who alleges his feelings were hurt over what he believed was the “intention” of what the officer said.

      Quite the system we have here.

    Tom Vann January 22, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Al, you know I’m honest to the bone but enjoy some fishermen stories from time to time. Like you I risk being sued. My wife on a regular basis has threatened to take most of the 800 bucks from our account if no improvements are made. I threaten her with fear that she will never find another like me. As for lawyers…I have only found 3 good ones in my life of crime and wildness. Many are money driven with billable hours being their mantra. Like the Harvey Weinstein case people come forward to free themselves more than for the money. Guilty or not, I think our 2 council boys are done along with Pam and Donna if they don’t lay the bricks to both I see. I am happy with who I am since I got a thunderous message one night. Heaven doesn’t want me and Hell is afraid I’ll take over. So I am what I am and it sure isn’t a predator.

  4. Jennifer Adams January 22, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    In the recent publication regarding police behavior the clause “we pray this only involves a few officers” is used. That simply cannot be the case. Supervisory staff, elected officials, government and government agencies, police oversight boards and directors have been notified over and over and over again. If all police do not stand up and say this is unacceptable – I know it happens, I’ve seen it happening and I’ve heard it happens: they are complicit. It is like saying all nazis weren’t part of what was going on, or there were nice people in Charlottesville on BOTH sides.

    The issue is far more concerning that just police malfeasance – by law officers, potential employers, employers, letter carriers, neighbourhood associations etc. are all part of a network of communication.

    It’s hard to see a path whereby this can end with criminal charges – that does not mean their

    behavior is not criminal – it just means that the corruption goes well past the few officers who

    are named.

    Yours truly,

    Jennifer Adams (Miss)

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