Oak Bay police officer receives dismissal sanction for using services of sex trade worker, OPCC report says

Oak Bay police officer receives dismissal sanction for using services of sex trade worker, OPCC report says

File photo.

File photo.

An Oak Bay police officer received a sanction of dismissal after an allegation that the officer had used the services of a sex trade worker was substantiated, according to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner 2017/2018 annual report.

According to the report, there were two substantiated allegations against Oak Bay police officer between April 1, 2017 and Mar. 31, 2018. Both allegations were investigated by the Oak Bay Police Department.

One of the investigations followed an allegation that an Oak Bay police officer, either on or off duty, used the services of a sex trade worker. The report states that the matter proceeded to a disciplinary proceeding. The discipline authority determined the allegation was substantiated and the police officer was to be dismissed from the police department for discreditable conduct or conduct that discredits the department.

The police officer did have a right to a public hearing or a review on the record but did not request one. The OPCC said in the report it was satisfied the decision was appropriate considering the circumstances. The date of the incident was not listed in the report but on Wednesday, the Oak Bay Police Department confirmed they received information about the allegation on Dec. 7, 2016.

The department contacted the OPCC and also requested an external investigator. A criminal investigation was conducted but there was insufficient evidence to support criminal charges. Oak Bay Chief Const. Andy Brinton said there was no indication the police officer was engaged in said behaviour while on duty.

Brinton also said the officer retired before the investigation was done in November 2017. However, the sanction was still dismissal and it went on a discipline record.

“The behaviour of this police officer does not meet the expectations of the Oak Bay Police Department nor the community at large. The sanction supports the seriousness of this breach of the Police Act.  This individual will never be a police officer again,” Brinton said in a statement.

The other alleged incident occurred on April 5, 2017. The allegation states that on that date, a police officer was scheduled to attend a mandatory training day, which included firearms requalification.

A colleague with more experience in the handling of firearms conducted the refresher session with the police officer where they went over how to disassemble the service revolver. After the session, the police officer started to disassemble a service revolver five times in order to be ready to do so on a range.

“On what was believed to be the fifth repetition of the disassembling process, the police officer negligently discharged a bullet. There appeared to be a jammed casing in the firearm,” the report reads.

The area was searched but no bullet was found. No one was injured in the incident.

The investigation into the negligent discharge of firearm went to a prehearing conference and the OPCC determined that the proposed discipline appeared to be correct and there did not appear to be any “moral culpability on the part of the member considering the circumstances.”

The report says the police officer took full responsibility for his actions, acknowledged he did not use the unloading stations and said he would make sure he did so in the future.

The OPCC is a civilian, independent office of the legislature that oversees and monitors complaints and investigations involving municipal police in British Columbia.

Investigations into allegations of misconduct are conducted by an investigator within a police department and must be done within six months. The complainant and subject officer are to receive regular progress reports on the investigation and an OPCC investigate analyst monitors the investigation.

After an investigation is finished, a final report goes to the police department’s discipline authority (the chief constable or senior officer designated by the chief constable) for a decision and the OPCC for review. The discipline authority has to provide the decision to the complainant, the subject officer and the OPCC within 10 business days. The decision must state whether the evidence appears to substantiate the allegation of misconduct and if so, advise proposed discipline or corrective measures.

A prehearing conference can be held to allow the officer the opportunity to admit the misconduct and accept the proposed discipline or corrective measures. If an agreement is not reached or a prehearing conference is not held, the matter then goes to a disciplinary proceeding before the discipline authority.

A complainant can request a review of the file if they disagree with a discipline authority’s decision to not substantiate an allegation or if they disagree with the results of a disciplinary proceeding. A police officer can also request a review if they do not agree with the discipline proceeding outcome. If the penalty for the officer is dismissal or reduction in rank, the officer is entitled to a public hearing or review on the record.

The police commissioner may also disagree with a decision if so can, appoint a retired judge to review a final investigation report, arrange for a review on the record or order a public hearing.

The names of the officers in the report were not released by the OPCC.


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