Former Saanich cop had improper relations with sex worker, report finds
A disgraced former Saanich cop committed more than a dozen acts of misconduct including improper behaviour with a sex worker, according to a new report.
The incidents, laid out in a report from the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner, took place between 2015 and 2017.
Among the findings were that the officer misappropriated money seized from a confidential informant, threatened to reveal that informant's status to criminal associates and tried to collect money on behalf of a sex worker using threats and coercion.
The OPCC also found the cop exchanged sexual text messages and images with the same sex worker he tried to collect money for – and failed to adequately investigate reports of domestic assault, sexual assault and robbery of the sex worker.
It also found he tried to cover up the incidents by giving false or misleading evidence to an investigators.
The officer was suspended as soon as Saanich police learned of the allegations and he later resigned before he could be fired.
None of the allegations resulted in criminal charges, but the OPCC upheld the findings of misconduct.
"It sounds like criminal behavior, for sure. It doesn't sound like the conduct you'd expect of a police officer, whether on-duty or off," said Deputy Police Complaint Commissioner Rollie Woods. "His conduct was pretty atrocious considering the responsibilities of the police."
Woods called it "one of the most serious corruption cases" he's ever seen, but said the public should have confidence in Saanich police after they identified the conduct and notified the OPCC immediately.
Saanich police issued a statement in response to the OPCC report saying it took "immediate action" by removing the officer from duty when the allegations were first put forward.
"Saanich Police is proud of its culture of service, has deeply entrenched values, and clear expectations of conduct," the detachment said. "There are policies to guide our conduct, and the conduct of this former officer, completely disregarded our expectations and were blatant violations of our policies."
That officer isn't the only one out of a job for committing misconduct in the Capital Region.
The OPCC report also found that another former police officer, this one in Oak Bay, used the services of a sex trade worker in 2016.
The incident also prompted a criminal investigation, but no charges were laid against the officer, who is no longer with the force.