Abbotsford Police officer receives 28-day unpaid suspension

Const. Adam Page receives disciplinary decision from the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.

An Abbotsford Police officer who lied to investigators after he assaulted a shoplifting suspect in 2009 has been suspended without pay for 28 days.

The decision was made following submissions presented at a hearing for Const. Adam Page through the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC).

Adjudicator Ian Pitfield concluded after an OPCC hearing in February that Page had abused his authority when he assaulted the suspect in September 2009 and then made false or misleading statements to investigators.

A decision on disciplinary action was reserved until this week.

Page previously faced a criminal assault charge, to which he pleaded guilty in April 2011. He received one year probation and a conditional discharge, meaning he will have no criminal record.

During those proceedings, the court heard that Page pushed a handcuffed shoplifting suspect – arrested at the London Drugs store in West Oaks Mall – into a wall hard enough to leave a dent.

According to OPCC documents, Page then told investigators, in oral and written statements, that he had accidentally stepped on the suspect’s right calf and ankle, lost his balance, and fell forward into the man, pushing him into the wall.

But at the hearing in February, Pitfield said video of the incident clearly showed otherwise.

Options for disciplinary action included Page being fired from his job, but Pitfield said in the decision released this week that the circumstances of the assault did not merit such consequences.

Pitfield said the suspect did not require medical attention and did not report the conduct to police, although the report does not identify who did.

“This is an example of a one-off incident associated with the arrest and detention of a suspect that cannot be condoned, but that, of itself, should not result in the termination of the officer’s career,” Pitfield wrote.

Pitfield was more critical of Page’s deceit, saying it is “the most disciplinary default that can be committed by a police officer,” and said dismissal should be a consideration on this issue.

However, he decided against that, citing Page’s involvement in an anger management program, his eventual admission of the facts, and his otherwise unblemished employment record.

Page received a three-day suspension for the assault and 25 days for the deceit.