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Vancouver officers fired for stealing fentanyl, kissing youths: OPCC report

Annual report details disciplinary decisions handed down in 2022/2023

Vancouver police officers were disciplined in 2022 and 2023 for stealing fentanyl, kissing youths and abusing their authority on numerous occasions, according to B.C.’s police oversight agency.

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner detailed the results of several dozen substantiated allegations against Vancouver officers in its latest fiscal report released last November.

In most cases, officers were issued written or verbal reprimands or briefly suspended, but in three instances officers were fired for their offences.

In the first of those instances, a male officer who worked in a unit dedicated to protecting vulnerable people was found guilty of kissing two youths who were involved in an ongoing investigation. He was sentenced to a custodial sentence and fired from the department.

In the second instance, another male officer was found to have abused his former spouse and used his position of authority to try and gain child custody. Criminal charges were originally approved against him but later stayed. He was fired for misconduct.

In the third fireable instance, the discipline authority found a male officer seized fentanyl off two separate people and used it himself. He also stole lottery tickets from one person. He was sentenced to a probationary sentence of three years and fired from the department.

Other officers faced lighter discipline.

One officer was suspended for three days without pay after he unlawfully arrested someone at a traffic stop and struck them in the process. Another VPD member was issued an 11-day unpaid suspension for failing to secure their firearms safely. The weapons were stolen out of their vehicle and later recovered by police. They resigned before their discipline was handed down.

In a different case, an officer was given written and verbal reprimands and ordered to review respectful workplace policy after they told a civilian clinician they were working with that they thought the word “cops” was comparable to the “N-word.” They also showed the clinician a video with inappropriate racial stereotypes and looked the clinician up in a police database without any grounds to do so.

Another officer was also issued a verbal reprimand after they asked to use an employee’s store discount after attending a theft at the business.

On top of the substantiated allegations, the OPCC says it also received 400 new complaints against Vancouver police officers in the 2022/2023 fiscal year. Those are reviewed for admissibility before investigations are ordered into some. The results of those will be published in future reports.

The OPCC oversees the disciplinary process for B.C.’s 15 municipal police forces. Beyond the 400 complaints against VPD, it received a further 306 against officers in the 14 other regions in 2022/2023.

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Black Press Media Staff

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