Saanich police officer resigned after allegations of extortion, misconduct, OPCC report says


A Saanich police officer resigned following allegations that he was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a known sex worker, failed to conduct an adequate investigation into the sexual assault, domestic abuse and robbery of the same woman and tried to extort money from her, according to the latest report from the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.

The misconduct case involving the Saanich police officer and the known sex worker involved several allegations, which came out after the police department requested an investigation after receiving information that the police officer was involved in an inappropriate relationship with the sex worker.

One of the allegations was that the police officer attempted to collect money on behalf of the woman via threats and coercion, including threats of criminal sanctions. The police investigation was suspended during the criminal investigation into this allegation. Crown Counsel didn’t approve charges and the police investigation continued.

The other allegations were:

  • The police officer conducted an inadequate investigation into a report of a domestic assault; sexual assault and robbery of the woman
  • The officer sent and received sexual text messages and images to and from the woman who is a known sex worker and victim of crime
  • The officer failed to comply with the requirements of the department governing the handling of confidential sources
  • The officer filed a false or misleading investigative report and made false or misleading radio broadcasts related to an investigation
  • The officer conducted queries of the PRIME Records Management System for information about individuals that were not related to the proper performance of the police officer’s duties; the officer made false or misleading statements to the investigating officer responsible for this Police Act investigation
  • The officer observed a privatized file on the PRIME Records Management System and then communicated with the woman and made multiple attempts to further communicate with the woman in an effort to determine what she had disclosed to police that resulted in his removal from normal operational duties
  • The officer made false or misleading statements in his written statement to Crown Counsel in relation to the nature and content of the conversation with the woman
  • The officer made false or misleading statements in a supplementary statement in relation to the claim that woman was the first female the police officer had ever attempted to gather information from.

During the police investigation into the case, the officer resigned and chose not to participate in a disciplinary proceeding.

The discipline authority (the chief constable or senior officer designated by the chief constable) found the officer’s conduct in relation to the allegations to be inexcusable, and it put the public’s confidence in the Saanich police and the reputation of the police department at risk, which were grounds for dismissal.

“While individually some of the allegations may have warranted a lower level of discipline, the discipline authority was compelled to look at the conduct as a continuum of behaviour that occurred over a period of time and that was interconnected. As such, the discipline authority determined that the disposition must represent this context,” the 2017/2018 report reads.

Since the officer had resigned, the discipline authority wrote their decision as though the police officer was still part of the department and they will go on a Service Record of Discipline. The former officer did not request a public hearing or review on the record. The OPCC says in the report it was satisfied with the discipline authority’s decision.

There were other substantiated allegations involving the Saanich Police Department listed in the report.

In one instance on Aug. 12, 2017, a police officer left a backpack in a covert police vehicle parked outside the hotel. The vehicle was broken into overnight and the backpack was stolen. In the backpack was a mini Glock magazine containing eight .40 caliber rounds, one OC spray, a video camera, a police issued notebook, and a camouflage rain jacket and pants.

The mini Glock magazine containing the eight rounds of ammunition, the O.C. spray, the JVC video camera, the police notebook and a jacket were recovered on Aug. 18. The Vortex Diamondback
binoculars and several of police officer’s personal clothing items remain missing. The officer accepted responsibility.

Earlier in the year, on May 23, 2017, an officer left a loaded service firearm in a public washroom, according to the report. An outside policing agency conducted a criminal investigation for Careless Use of a Firearm. Crown Counsel determined there was no substantial likelihood of conviction and no public interest in pursuing a prosecution. The report says once the officer realized the firearm was missing, they notified their supervisor and retrieved it while offering apologies. The officer accepted responsibility and received a verbal reprimand.

Another misconduct case in the report stated a police officer continued an informant relationship after the department ordered the relationship be terminated and inappropriately shared personal information with the informant through text messages. The officer received a 30-day suspension for each allegation to be served concurrently.

And there were also allegations that an officer disclosed information acquired as a police officer to their spouse and had knowledge of matters that the police officer should have brought to the attention of the police department. That officer received a written reprimand.

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


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