While I have written several posts in the past about the seemingly endless capacity of organizations and institutions to behave in ways that best protect themselves rather than serve the interests of their constituencies, each new instance continues to appall me.
Today's print edition of The Star (nothing online yet) details an investigation by the paper into the failure of a Belleville police officer to take note of the license plate of a suspicious vehicle spotted outside of the home of Jessica Lloyd on the night he went on to rape and kill her. This information might have prevented her death
While mistakes happen all the time, and I am hardly in a position to judge the officer involved, what is interesting about this story from my perspective is the fact that it took 20 months for The Star's request for information under The Freedom of Information Act to be fulfilled, largely, it would seem, because both the police and the Ministry of Community Safety were busy trying to conceal what had happened in this major oversight to protect their own interests.
Could this perhaps also be the real reason the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services earlier refused The Star's request for the dates Williams’ DNA was submitted for testing, stating that the release of the information would be an “unjustified invasion of personal privacy”?
Should this article appear online, I will provide further details in an update.
UPDATE: Here is the link to the story on The Star website. As noted in my original post, you will see that the biggest priority of both the Belleville police and the Ministry of Community Safety seems to have been how to best spin shortcomings of the investigation. As well, there still is no protocol in place to avoid such mistakes in the future.