Abbotsford Police officer under investigation for impaired driving

An Abbotsford Police officer was suspended today (Friday) and is under investigation for possible impaired driving after he crashed into a pole on April 14.

An officer with the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) was suspended with pay today (Friday) and is under investigation for impaired driving after he crashed into a pole on April 14.

Const. Ian MacDonald said it has taken the APD two weeks to go public with the incident because the officer was not open about what had taken place.

The member, who has worked with the APD for 4 1/2 years and was most recently in the criminal investigation branch, had permission to drive an unmarked vehicle home from work, MacDonald said.

He stopped on the way home at the facility of the Abbotsford Police Association (APA)  – the union representing local officers.

Sometime later that evening or in the early-morning hours of April 15, he crashed into a pole in the 2700 block of West Bourquin Crescent. MacDonald said damage was caused to the front passenger-side quarter panel and bumper, and the wheel well.

The officer then drove home. On his next shift, he offered an explanation about how the car had become damaged.

MacDonald could not say exactly what information the officer provided, but police investigated the issue further and the accuracy of the officer’s statement became an  “integral issue,” he said.

Investigators are now trying to piece together a more specific timeline of what occurred that evening, including where the officer might have been consumed liquor.

MacDonald said the APA facility does not have a bar.

“We don’t stock liquor there and liquor is not sold there, but we can’t preclude the possibility that he might have consumed alcohol there.”

The officer, who has no previous criminal history, will be named when, and if, charges are laid, MacDonald said.

He said circumstances such as this are difficult for the department, but he hopes the public recognizes that individual decisions are involved and are not a reflection of the APD as a whole.

He said he also hopes the public appreciates that the department is “open and transparent” when mistakes are made.

“When we have a bad day or when one of our members has a bad day, we tell the world about it.”

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner has been advised of the circumstances.