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An “exemplary” police officer spared a criminal record

November 2021

Back in September, Justice Michelle Fuerst passed sentence on retired Barrie Police Sergeant Michael Chytuk, who had earlier this year, pleaded guilty to careless use of a firearm. Justice Fuerst granted an absolute discharge to the former sergeant, sparing him a criminal record, despite his guilty plea. He doesn’t even get probation or community service.

Chytuk had originally been charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm, as a result of Chytuk’s involvement in attempting to stop an armed robbery suspect fleeing from him back in September 2018. Chytuk located the suspect vehicle, with four people inside it, at a gas station. As the vehicle fled the, Chytuk “accidentally” fired a shot, hitting one of the suspects in the car. The suspect was later arrested, having fled on foot after the vehicle crashed into a tree.

In addition to granting an absolute discharge, Justice Fuerst went on to state that “…Chytuk has had ‘an exemplary’ 30-year career as a police officer and private citizen at the sentencing hearing.” Yeah, not quite.

In February 2003, he plead guilty to charges of Discreditable Conduct under the Police Services Act for a drunken, off-duty arrest. In November 2003, he was again charged with Discreditable Conduct, as a result of being charged impaired driving. He was hardly “an exemplary” police officer.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a recovering alcoholic and used to drive impaired on occasion too. You could say that the only difference between Chytuk and myself, is that Chytuk got caught, and I didn’t. Fair enough, but that’s a separate issue.

I hope Chytuk has dealt with whatever issues caused him to abuse alcohol and is in a much better place with his mental health. Chytuk obviously had a supportive Police Association and a supportive police service, which allowed him to continue to serve, despite repeatedly facing criminal and Police Services Act (PSA) charges.

My police association and police service threw me under the bus when I was facing two questionable PSA charges, after I succumbed to PTSD.

Sources: Sergeant pleads guilty to discreditable conduct (muskokaregion.com), Barrie cop charged with discreditable conduct (muskokaregion.com), Retired Barrie police officer granted absolute discharge after pleading guilty to shooting suspect | CTV News, Barrie cop charged with criminal negligence in connection with shooting: SIU – Barrie | Globalnews.ca, Barrie cop charged with criminal negligence in shooting | Toronto Sun.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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