The courthouse in Port Coquitlam. (Google/Special to The News)

The courthouse in Port Coquitlam. (Google/Special to The News)

Maple Ridge community safety officer charged with assault

Assaulting peace officer, possession of weapon among charges laid

A member of the Maple Ridge community safety officer team has been charged with assaulting a peace officer, wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer, and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Charges were laid against Allison Sheila Hesp following an incident on Jan. 16.

“Police can confirm charges have been approved in a BC provincial court process. However, because this matter is still before the courts there are no further details we can provide,” said Ridge Meadows RCMP Sgt. Amanda Harnett.

None of the allegations against Hesp have been proven. She is scheduled for her next court appearance on March 30 at Port Coquitlam provincial court.

Hesp has been on the job in Maple Ridge since July 2021, but was not working when the incident occurred, said a statement from the City of Maple Ridge.

“The city is aware that charges have been laid in an incident involving a city employee,” reads the statement.

“The incident did not occur when the employee was acting in their work capacity. As this matter is now before the courts, the city cannot make further comments on the matter.”

The community safety officer (CSO) program operates a team that functions as a section of the city’s bylaws and licensing service, and they address homeless camps, aggressive panhandling, and nuisance behaviour on city streets, sidewalks, and parks, according to the city website.

The CSO program is has been considered a success by city council, and officers have done patrols in concert with the RCMP.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge looks to hire more Community Safety Officers

Hesp had previously worked in bylaw enforcement for the City of Surrey for more than 20 years. Prior to that, she had been employed by the RCMP as an office manager, volunteer coordinator, and records clerk, and had also been an auxiliary constable, according to her online resume.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge launches new integrated safety ambassador team


Have a story tip? Email: ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

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