Prospective police officers out money as London company files for bankruptcy
LONDON, ONT. -- Applicant Testing Service (ATS), a company that worked with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) pre-screening candidates for police constable positions across Ontario, has filed for bankruptcy.
In an email sent out on behalf of ATS, Paul J. Pickering and Associates notified 15 creditors that it owed nearly $338,000 and it would no longer be providing its services.
Over half of that amount, $224,190 is owed to nearly 600 applicants who registered to take the online police certificate.
CTV News spoke with one of those applicants, who voiced his concerns.
“The email that went out to everybody, with every applicants name, address, city they lived in, how much was owed to them. It’s up to me, it’s a privacy breach. And another concern, allowing people to register for testing, that they may or may not have known they were going to perform.”
Jeff McGuire, executive director at OACP says they had a 20-year relationship with ATS, but that agreement expired last year and it was not renewed.
“It was a pre-screening used by most police services to pre-screen candidates for police constable positions. It was developed by the Ministry of Community Safety and the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.
"The ‘constable selection system’ was a tool kit, that was contracted to ATS, and they would institute the test on the OACP's behalf. With that certificate, upon completing this process, the applicants could go to most police services in the province and present the certificate and enter the hiring process,” McGuire explains.
OACP says over the last couple of years, a discussion developed between police chiefs from across the province on ways to improve the system, deciding to part ways with ATS and begin conducting the certificate process online.
“I would like to get back to the people caught in the middle, that was always an absolute priority for us. It was a priority discussed with ATS before the end of the contract. We wanted to make sure that we were able to take care of those candidates as best we could,” adds McGuire.
Those who registered for the online program are being encouraged to contact their credit card company for a refund.
A meeting has been scheduled by Paul J. Pickering and Associates for all those impacted by this bankruptcy filing.