Beers on the job, smacking crotches: 10 police misconduct probes in B.C.

Recent report by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner highlights a number of investigations

An annual report released this week by the Officer of the Police Complaint Commissioner is shedding light on some of the most head-turning misconduct by municipal police officers across B.C.

The report, tabled in the legislature this week, found a 15 per cent increase in the number of investigations by the office between April 2018 to March 2019 compared to the same time period a year prior.

READ MORE: Misconduct investigations spike by 65% across B.C.’s municipal police forces

Investigations include police-involved incidents that result in injury, misconduct allegations brought forward by superior officers and complaints made by the public.

Officers facing misconduct investigations can be reprimanded in various ways based on the severity of the incident – from being ordered to write apologies to suspended leaves. Three officers were dismissed from the force in 2017-18, the report said.

Here’s a look at some of worst incidents investigated in 2018-19:

Workplace harassment training ordered for cop who slapped colleagues crotches

A Kootenay cop was investigated by the OPCC for inappropriate behaviour on multiple occasions at the Nelson police detachment, including slapping the genital area of fellow male officers and degrading a female officer.

According to the investigation, the cop – who was a front line supervisor – used a derogatory term to refer to one of his female colleagues while in front of other employees at the detachment in April 2017. For that instance, the officer received a written reprimand. The cop also received a verbal reprimand for slapping the genital area of male officers while on duty on multiple occasions.

He was ordered to take workplace harassment training.

West Vancouver cop sends naked photos to a domestic violence victim

A West Vancouver police officer was fired after sending naked photos of himself to a domestic violence victim and pursued relationships with other vulnerable victims.

The report, which called the behaviour “predatory,” found that the officer had used his position of trust to develop sexual relationships with at least 11 women he met while on duty.

The officer retired before a disciplinary hearing could be conducted, but the report says his employment records will say he was dismissed from the department.

Cop uses police database to search an extended family member with gang ties

On Aug. 10, 2018 a police officer in Delta told his supervisors that he used a police database, called PRIME, to search an extended family member who had known gang associations – but it wasn’t the first time. According to the investigation, the officer also admitted he had searched through the same database in the past, ranging as far back as November 2011.

The officer had informed the police department of the particular family member’s gang ties “several years ago.” The OPCC determined that the his searches didn’t impact any ongoing criminal investigations, and the officer received a written reprimand and had to review department manuals on how to use police databases.

Officer suspended for 4 days after failing to give people distracted driving tickets

A police officer was suspended for four days and had to undergo training for handing out a number of tickets to drivers for lesser violations after they were caught using their cellphones while behind the wheel.

Between June 19 and July 22 the Delta cop issued 20 motor vehicle violation tickets to 11 drivers, the investigation found.

During the misconduct proceedings, the Discipline Authority called for a suspension for 22 days, a reduction in rank for one year and that the officer work under close supervision once he returned to work.

But the adjudicator said that the officer misunderstood what his police discretion included. In addition to the suspension, the officer had to undertake special training on procedure.

Victoria cop uses emergency lights, sirens to get her kids to school on time

A Victoria officer running late to get her kids to school was found to have inappropriately treated the situation like an emergency, using her police van lights and sirens to bypass traffic.

According to the investigation report, the officer strapped her two children together using one seat belt in the passenger seat, before activating the siren and emergency lights. Several motorists pulled over to allow her through.

That officer resigned from the force for reasons unknown during the investigation.

Transit cop lashes out at squad over snacks served at meeting

A transit police officer was ordered to write an apology to colleagues after he caused a spectacle during a squad briefing over the division of snacks and drinks offered at the meeting.

On Sept. 28, 2017, the police officer interrupted the briefing to voice his displeasure before calling a fellow officer a derogatory name in front of his colleagues, including an inspector. During the discipline hearing, the officer argued that the cop in charge of dividing the food equally offended him but ultimately admitted he retaliated in an inappropriate way.

The officer was ordered to prepare a letter of apology to present at a later meeting.

Cop tried to convince a sexual assault victim not to report, then was deceitful about it

A longtime Saanich police officer counselled a victim not to report their sexual assault to police, an investigation found.

The cop, who had been with the force for 26 years at the time of the investigation, received a 20-day suspension for counselling the victim to not report their sexual assault to police. His actions sparked an internal probe, where he received a further 30 days after providing false or misleading statements to the investigating officer.

Vancouver officer flashes police badge while doing some personal banking – twice

On Oct. 25, 2017 a Vancouver police officer flashed his police badge while off duty to employees at a bank during two different banking transactions.

It’s unclear exactly why the cop decided to identify himself as a police officer, but investigators called the incident “serious misconduct.” The officer told the police complaint commissioner that he now understands that this type of conduct put the two bank clerks in a difficult position.

He was suspended for a total of two days, or one for each badge flash.

Surveillance team debriefs with beers in hand

An investigation requested by the Vancouver Police Department found four officers failed to meet community expectations on how police officers should conduct themselves after drinking beer while debriefing in September 2017.

The officers, all part of a surveillance team, each had a beer mid-shift while discussing portions of the days’ surveillance on Sept. 12 and 13.

“Although the police officers still had a few hours remaining in their shift, they would not be redeployed as active police officers,” the investigation report reads. There was no evidence to suggest any of the officers were impaired, and they each received a verbal reprimand.

Senior ranking cop physically disciplines officer by slapping her buttocks

A senior-ranking police officer in Vancouver was reprimanded after he physically disciplined a special municipal constable during an official department event, but resigned before he could face his punishment.

The incident happened in April 2017, when the superior officer removed the female constable’s hands from her pockets and then smacked or slapped her on the buttocks. Special municipal constables include jail guards, community safety personnel and traffic authority members.

Two months later, while the incident was under internal investigation, the senior police officer sent an email to staff which contradicted the female officer’s recount of what happened. According to the investigation report, the senior officer was nearing retirement, after working for 40 years with the force, and his training on harassment in the workplace was “outdated.”

Despite resignation, the record indicates the officer was handed down a two-month suspension, reassignment of department and also ordered to be retrained on how to be respectful in the workplace.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

RCMP ask for assistance to find missing Chilliwack man

Raymond Gene Jarvis has been missing since early July

Popkum fire chief urges caution after Saturday rescue from Bridal Veil Falls

11-year-old boy was stable, fire chief Walter Roos said, when delivered to a waiting ambulance

Chilliwack RCMP seeing surge in telephone-based tax scam

Victims are phoned by someone claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency, demanding money

Chilliwack Chiefs alum Jordan Kawaguchi named captain of North Dakota Fighting Hawks

The high scoring forward will lead UND into the 2020-21 NCAA Div-1 hockey season

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Mission spray park closed after children suffer swollen eyes, burns

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

19 times on 19th birthday: Langley teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Professional basketball in Canada begins return to action with COVID-19 testing

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits, six other CEBL teams arrive in Ontario for Summer Series

Most Read