Officers apologize for controversial comments made on radio show
Two Edmonton police officers are apologizing after they made some controversial comments on a radio talk show. The remarks were made on CHED radio show Cop Talk where officers Const. Patrick Tracy and Sgt. Aubrey Zalaski spoke about victims of sexual assault.
"I read this in the paper, sexual assaults up 37 per cent, yeah, what's up with that? Well I got an opinion and it is not a very politically correct opinion, but I mean I am looking at the men and women... I live in kind of a downtown entertainment district and I look at how they are dressing, both the men and women, how they are dressing, how they are looking and then throwing copious amounts of alcohol," said Const.Tracy on Cop Talk.
Then Sgt. Zalaski added this: "If you are going to go out drinking and you're are going to get involved in that environment where you know there are a lot of predators, you know there's a lot of people out there, you are dressing in a certain manners and dancing a certain ways, you are creating opportunity shall I say...there is consequences, not saying anyone deserves to be victimized, but the fact is you have to mitigate how you become a victim."
But now, those officers are saying sorry for the remarks.
"I apologize if it has caused anyone grief because sexual assault like any assault is an extremely serious matter," said Tracy.
"We fully apologize for any comments that may have seemed out of place or offensive," said Zalaski.
The controversial radio conversation stems from the Edmonton Police Service recently reporting that there is a 37 per cent increase in the number of reported sex assaults. And in particular, police said there is an increase in alcohol-facilitated sexual assaults.
And while some Edmontonians CTV News spoke to admit they don't entirely disagree with the officers' point of views, some believe the comments could have been made with more sensitivity.
"They are trying to tell us how to protect ourselves, essentially is what this is, they've just gone about it the wrong way," said Laura White.
Workers at the Sexual Assault Centre brought the comments to the attention of the Edmonton Police Service.
Both officers say in the future they will focus on the person responsible for the crime, and not the victim. Both men say their next show on Nov. 6th will be dedicated entirely to the topic of sexual assault.
With files from Sonia Sunger