B.C. police commissioner highlights ‘predatory behaviour,’ gun safety in report

Officer’s conduct spanned six years and involved women he met while on duty

A West Vancouver police officer was fired for what British Columbia’s police complaints commissioner describes as “predatory” behaviour involving 11 women.

The case study in the commissioner’s annual report says an investigation was launched when a victim of violence by her partner received inappropriate photos from the unnamed officer.

The report says an investigation determined the officer’s conduct spanned six years and involved women he met while on duty, using his position of trust as a police officer to develop a sexual relationships with the 11 women.

It says ”the pattern of behaviour by this officer was deemed to be predatory in nature.”

The officer retired before a disciplinary hearing, but the report says his employment records will say he was dismissed from the department.

It says the officer also misused police department equipment, such as cellphones and email, by sending sexually explicit and other inappropriate photos, messages and written communications to the women.

READ MORE: Misconduct investigations spike by 65% across B.C.’s municipal police forces — report

Const. Kevin Goodmurphy of West Vancouver police says no further action has been taken against the officer and no other women have stepped forward to complain.

“Nothing short of dismissal would have been acceptable, given the findings of that investigation,” he said in an interview on Tuesday. “This person opted to resign prior to that conclusion, but that would not have changed the outcome, given the investigation findings.”

The commissioner’s report says three police officers from various provincial departments were dismissed in 2018-19 following investigations into their conduct under the Police Act.

The report was tabled in the legislature this week and provides an overview of misconduct involving municipal police officers in B.C.

The report also makes recommendations to Vancouver’s police board on so-called street checks, saying further study should be done into appropriate training programs and policies on the practice.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association and Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs filed a complaint last year claiming that police were racially biased when they stopped people on the street to check their identification.

They said the policies and practices led to a significant overrepresentation of Indigenous and black people stopped in the checks.

The report says Vancouver’s police board approved six recommendations and added a seventh that called for an independent review of the policies and consultation to identify how street check policies affect Indigenous and racialized people.

The commissioner also recommended proper training for the use of ceremonial gun holsters and the reconsideration of procedures on the maintenance of firearms.

It comes after a Vancouver officer discharged his gun as it was being holstered in a ceremonial holster, grazing the officer’s right thigh, which required 13 stitches. An investigation found the officer’s pistol was poorly serviced and the department hadn’t adhered to its schedule of inspecting the guns every three months.

In the report, commissioner Clayton Pecknold says his office will be watching trends in the use of force.

“The office will be paying especially close attention to any instances involving the gratuitous application of force, or the misuse of otherwise lawful techniques and equipment — such as intermediate weapons and police service dogs.”

The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Guns, crossbows, ammo seized in raid on Langley home

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