Blue Line

Police watchdog wants review of B.C.’s officer’s punishment for ‘predatory’ actions

January 22, 2024  By The Canadian Press

Jan. 22, 2024, Victoria, B.C. – B.C.’s police complaint commissioner has ordered a review of the discipline handed out to an officer over sexual misconduct claims, saying the punishment didn’t fit the seriousness of the sexual allegations that were “predatory in nature.”

A notice of review issued by commissioner Clayton Pecknold concerns an unnamed New Westminster police sergeant who was in a supervisory role when he allegedly made advances toward female employees of the department.

The matter was investigated by the Vancouver Police Department, which found the officer committed two instances of discreditable conduct.

The recommended punishment for the sergeant was a reduction in rank.


But the notice from Pecknold says the discipline authority found the actions from the male officer were “very serious.”

“The discipline authority specifically noted that the member was in a position of authority and the affected persons were vulnerable relative to the member’s position.”

Pecknold’s notice says he has concluded there is a reasonable basis to believe the demotion doesn’t reflect the circumstances of the sergeant’s conduct.

The officer holds a supervisory rank and leadership role in the New Westminster Police Department, the review says.

“The proposed disciplinary or corrective measures would potentially allow the member to re-enter the workplace, notwithstanding the discipline authority’s findings that the member used his rank, position, and seniority to ‘facilitate a pattern of predatory behaviour,’” Pecknold says, quoting from the original discipline decision.

It has the potential to bring the administration of police discipline into disrepute, Pecknold says.

The commissioner has ordered a review by a retired former chief judge of the B.C. provincial court, Carol Baird Ellan.

A date for the review hasn’t yet been scheduled.

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