Improper Saanich police arrest going to public hearing

OPCC will hold a public hearing into allegations of professional misconduct against a Saanich police officer

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner announced this week it will hold a public hearing into allegations of professional misconduct against a Saanich police officer.

Complaint commissioner Stan Lowe on Monday said the hearing will look into allegations of deceit and abuse of authority involving Const. David Smit following a May 2011 incident. Smit himself requested the hearing.

While attending a report of a domestic dispute on May 20, 2011, Smit directed a man out of his home in order to arrest him for intoxication in a public place.

“When questioned by his superiors about his actions, Constable Smit denied that he had directed the male outside in order to affect his arrest,” Lowe wrote in a release. “Constable Smit subsequently admitted his actions to his supervisors and the arrested individual was released from custody as he was improperly arrested.”

Saanich police Sgt. Steve Eassie explained that being intoxicated inside a home does not constitute a public place, although being outside does. “Once you are outside the threshold of your door, you are in a public place because you’re accessible to the public.”

A Saanich police investigation in 2012 proved the deceit and abuse of authority allegations, and Const. Smit was suspended without pay for seven days, and his rank was to be demoted to third-class constable.

According to Lowe, an officer is allowed to request a public hearing in circumstances where the discipline decision is dismissal or a reduction in rank. Smit contacted the OPCC in January 2013.

Lowe has recommended retired provincial court judge Jakob S. De Villiers preside as adjudicator. A date for the hearing has yet to be determined.

Eassie says the police department won’t comment further.

Smit has been with the Saanich police for four and a half years and is currently on administrative duties.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

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

Just Posted

Truck partially swallowed by Esquimalt sinkhole

City of Victoria crews repaired water main break, patched up hole on Tuesday

Why one Langford teacher is giving his kidney to a stranger

‘You get butterflies in your stomach,’ says man who has had 12 reconstructive surgeries

BC Transit seeks feedback for proposed route changes to Esquimalt, View Royal

Feedback can be collected through open houses, survey

Saanich and Victoria agree on terms of reference to further amalgamation study

Municipalities put forward funding request to province

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Greater Victoria’s wanted list for the week of Jan. 28

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

Police search north of Williams Lake prompts warning to residents to stay inside

Officers also warn drivers near Lynes Creek Road not to pick up pedestrians

60% of Canadian workers would take a pay cut for better mental health support: survey

Survey found 77% of workers would leave for better wellness initiatives

Runaway rail car reported on same B.C. train line as fatal 2019 derailment

CP Rail confirmed the incident happened on Jan. 14.

Police arrest Baby Bear statue thief in Island community

Suspect alleged to be responsible for other crimes in Chemainus, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Alberta

‘Critically low’ caribou population prompts wolf cull in the Chilcotin

Itcha-Ilgachuz herd numbers down to 385, from 2,800 in 2003

RCMP to review fatal B.C. train derailment investigation after evidence points to ‘cover up’

The derailment, which occurred on Feb. 4, 2019, killed three men from Calgary

Most Read