Female Calgary police officer wants harassment lawsuit to bring change

Female Calgary police officer wants harassment lawsuit to bring change

SPRINGBANK, Alta. — Kim Prodaniuk didn’t plan to be a crusader for change but hopes her lawsuit against the Calgary Police Service alleging harassment and emotional distress will make a difference.

The 40-year-old officer joined the service in 2008 and left on stress leave in 2017. She joined other female officers who publicly alleged that the force failed to provide a safe environment against bullying and harassment.

Prodaniuk, who filed a statement of claim against the police chief’s office, the Calgary Police Association and the City of Calgary in March, recently added a 132-page affidavit with details about her time on the force.

“I see myself as a change agent. I’ve been standing up since 2017 about systemic issues in policing, police brutality, abuse of authority,” Prodaniuk said in an interview with The Canadian Press at her home in Springbank, Alta.

“It’s real and it exists. It’s the dark shadow over good policing and good police officers, and it exists here in Calgary as well.”

Prodaniuk said the death of George Floyd, a Black man who protested he couldn’t breathe while a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes, is the catalyst for the change she’s talking about.

“This is the opportunity to fix it. Good cops don’t have the right to remain silent about this anymore.”

Protests over Floyd’s death across the United States, Canada and internationally are demanding an end to systemic racism and police brutality.

“It’s horrific, absolutely horrific, that we’re still dealing with this kind of thing in 2020,” Prodaniuk said as she wiped away tears.

“The things we see on video that happened are real and these can’t be reduced any more by the police.”

In her affidavit, Prodaniuk alleges multiple encounters involving sexual harassment and intimidation. She describes one case involving an officer who she says told her about his domestic situation and that he was having visions of killing his girlfriend.

“He told me if I told anyone what he’d said he would make up rumours of a sexual nature about me and spread them around the CPS,” she wrote.

“Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine as a police officer I would be in a situation where reporting danger to my police employer could result in consequences to my career and reputation.”

Prodaniuk also alleges that when she was training to work undercover she was ordered to fake an orgasm while riding a carousel at a shopping mall and to make sexually explicit phone calls to audition for an imaginary phone sex line that the male officers shared among themselves.

“I could either fail the scenario, which would potentially end my ability to do undercover work in the CPS, or follow through … What the CPS was asking me to do crossed my moral and ethical boundaries,” she wrote.

“In reality, it was a one-week long course dedicated to entertaining male CPS officers at the expense of female officers’ sexual dignity.”

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

The police service has not filed a statement of defence, but has entered a motion to strike the lawsuit. It says the collective agreement covering officers requires grievances to be filed within 60 days.

Chief Mark Neufeld said he has read the affidavit.

“I’m not going to talk to you about this particular case because it is before the courts,” he said.

“What I will say is those allegations that I read in that statement of claim were repugnant. I’m very concerned about those types of things, and every person deserves a respectful workplace and to be safe in their workplace.”

Prodaniuk’s lawyer, Brendan Miller, said the Calgary Police Service could waive the 60-day limit for filing a complaint.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2020

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

RCMP harassment lawsuit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Leanne Evans, Rimbey Neighbourhood Place Program Coordinator, accepts a donation of $5,000 from Kevin Maxwell manager of Field Support for Telus. (Photo Submitted)
Rimbey Neighbourhood Place making big changes behind the scenes

Rimbey Neighbourhood Place recently recieved a $5,000 donation from Telus

robbery
UPDATE: Suspect identified in early morning shooting

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Many rural municipalities were concerned about a proposed reduction to their industrial revenues, but Alberta’s Municipal Affairs minister has come up with an alternative solution. (Photo contributed)
Province and rural municipalities agree on a plan to support Alberta’s energy industry

Creating new wells or pipelines would result in a three year ‘tax holiday’

Conservative member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals say Tory effort to set up COVID-19 committee will be a confidence matter

The Tories were originally proposing an ‘anticorruption’ committee

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday February 4, 2020 in Ottawa. The Alberta government is welcoming news that Ottawa has approved an expansion of the Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. gathering system in Alberta — while condemning federal delays that it says cost this summer’s construction season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta welcomes federal approval of gas pipeline expansion while criticizing delay

The project is expected to create up to 2,920 direct jobs during construction, the federal release said

A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
The end of double cupping: Tim Hortons ditches two cups in favour of one with sleeve

Most recycling facilities in Canada don’t recycle single use paper coffee cups because of a plastic lining

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer doctor Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s chief public health doctor says in the age of social media, fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading faster than the virus itself. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
VIDEO: Fake news creates serious issues for battling pandemic, chief public health doc says

Both Tam and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to be responsible about the information they share

A narwhal tusk that was donated to a Goodwill store in northwest Calgary this summer will soon be gifted to the Arctic Institute of North America (Hesam Rezaei)
Narwhal tusk discovered in Calgary Goodwill pile to be donated to university

The tusk had federal hunting tags from 1978 attached that say animal was harvested from the central Arctic

(The Canadian Press)
Alberta-raised Cree actor lands role in Disney’s live-action ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’

Tiger Lily is featured in Disney’s 1953 animated “Peter Pan” film

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday February 4, 2020 in Ottawa. The Alberta government is welcoming news that Ottawa has approved an expansion of the Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. gathering system in Alberta — while condemning federal delays that it says cost this summer’s construction season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta welcomes federal approval of gas pipeline expansion while criticizing delay

Pipeline division owned by Calgary-based TC Energy Corp. will now be required to restore 3,840 hectares of caribou habitat,

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

Alberta Premier Jason Kenny and government house leader Jason Nixon chat before the speech from the throne delivered in Edmonton, Alta., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Alberta politicians are to return to the legislature Tuesday with a plan to discuss up to 20 new bills — many of which are focused on the province’s economic recovery. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta legislature to resume Tuesday; focus to be on economic recovery

Opposition house leader Heather Sweet said the NDP will focus on holding Premier Jason Kenney

Most Read