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

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.

Just Posted

Filming of The Baker’s Son in Chemainus. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Bread-making brilliance and mediocrity the recipe for movie ingredients

Willow Street on the map as a prominent location in The Baker’s Son

The return of Community Policing will be a welcome addition by residents. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Return of Community Policing in the works

Volunteers being sought and coordinators to be announced soon

Sonia Furstenau, MLA
Proposed Health Professions Act would eliminate barriers, guide regulations

Is your doctor a member of good standing with the BC College… Continue reading

These Douglas fir logs were found poached in April on Stoney Hill in North Cowichan’s forest reserve. (Larry Pynn/sixmountains.ca)
Fines in forest reserve could increase significantly after illegal logging

North Cowichan considering fines of up to $50,000

North Cowichan’s senior environment specialist Dr. Dave Preikshot (pictured) said there’s a wide spectrum of views on carbon credits. (File photo)
Carbon credits expected to be part of discussions around forest reserve

North Cowichan acknowledges wide range of views on issue

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read