Photo by Dale Klippenstein

OPCC orders review into penalty in Abbotsford officer domestic-assault case

Department proposed 16-day suspension for assault and harassment of officer’s ex-spouse

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) has disagreed with a decision of the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) to give a 16-day suspension to an officer who admitted to the assault and harassment of his former wife over several months.

The OPCC has ordered a review of that decision, saying in a press release today (Tuesday) that the penalty “did not reflect the serious, sustained and deliberate nature” of the behaviour.

The officer, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of the victim, previously admitted to five allegations of misconduct under the Police Act from January to June 2017.

An APD disciplinary conduct investigation found that there were five instances which included assault, installation of GPS tracking devices on the victim’s vehicle, harassing behaviours, and inappropriate use of police databases.

According to OPCC documents, in one instance, the officer entered his estranged spouse’s residence and, as she tried to close the door, he grabbed her wrist and took phones away so that she couldn’t call the police.

He prevented her from leaving the house by pulling on her arm and locking the door leading to the garage, the documents state.

He also followed her, entered her residence when she wasn’t there, and sent her unwanted texts, emails and phone messages even after a letter was sent from her lawyer advising him to stop.

The documents state that the officer’s behaviour all stemmed from his marital breakup and being fixated on what his spouse was doing and whom she might be seeing.

ALSO READ: Abbotsford Police officer exchanged ‘inappropriate messages,’ says report

Under the Police Act, the APD discipline authority recommended that the officer receive a suspension without pay of between one and five days for each of the allegations of misconduct, for a total suspension of 16 days without pay.

In a separate criminal investigation by the Vancouver Police Department, the officer was charged with assault, unlawful confinement, criminal harassment and uttering threats in relation to the same matter.

He pleaded guilty to assault and received a conditional discharge in July 2018 with one year probation.

The OPCC found that while the discipline authority correctly underscored the seriousness of domestic violence and the public’s expectation that those “sworn to protect the vulnerable from intimate partner violence must not engage in it themselves,” those principles were not sufficiently reflected in the proposed penalties.

The OPCC does not lay criminal charges, but looks for infractions under the Police Act. Officers deemed to have committed wrongdoing face disciplinary measures ranging from a written reprimand to a suspension or firing.This is separate from whatever criminal charges are laid.

The OPCC review has not yet been scheduled.

ALSO READ: Officer who propositioned sex-trade worker among those disciplined

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Vikki Hopes | Reporter

@VikkiHopes

Send Vikki an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

abbotsfordPolice

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Imagination Library Fraser Valley celebrating Christmas in July

Dolly Parton early literacy intiative looking for financial support to help with waitlist

MS Bike fundraiser goes virtual in midst of pandemic

Fraser Valley event in Abbotsford and Langley among those usually held every year

PHOTOS: Readers are proud of their cats

Abbotsford News asked people to share photos of their feline friends as part of National Kitten Day

Abbotsford musician Liam Pasiciel releases fourth album

Plant of Creation is entirely instrumental and moves beyond his ‘metal’ roots

Exercise and cancer to be explored via webinar

UFV’s Dr. Iris Lesser to lead Zoom event for cancer patients and supporters

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Police nab three impaired drivers in one night in Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Most Read