Delta police chief says he had no involvement 'in any way' with investigation into wife
VANCOUVER -- For the first time, Delta's police chief has publicly responded to the allegations that his wife sprayed another woman with water outside their home.
Neil Dubord's wife Lorraine has been accused of turning a water hose onto a South Asian woman who was walking near their property in early June, an incident that was initially investigated by the Delta Police Department before being turned over to Surrey RCMP.
"I want to say unreservedly that the matter at hand in now way reflects the values and commitment to the community of the officers of the Delta Police Department, nor my own values," Dubord said in a written statement on Monday.
"I want the community to know that I have not been involved in any way with the resulting investigation."
Dubord noted that his wife is not a member of the department, and that he supports the move to turn the case over to an outside policing agency to maintain independence.
"I believe that this is important to ensure that the community can remain confident that this matter is investigated thoroughly and acted upon properly," he wrote.
Last week, the woman who was allegedly sprayed in the face told CTV News the incident happened while she was trying to return to her car after a beach picnic.
Kiran Sidhu said the tide had cut off her path back along the sand, so she was climbing over rocks near the Dubords' home when a woman came outside and started yelling at her to go away.
During a verbal argument, Sidhu said the woman called her a "beached whale," and later soaked her face and hair with water.
"It's just super demeaning and demoralizing and dehumanizing to treat somebody like this," said Sidhu, who believes there was a racial aspect to the interaction.
She reported the incident to the Delta Police Department, which investigated it as an assault. In a statement, Deputy Chief Const. Norm Lipinski said the investigation was given to a supervisor and a senior manager was assigned to oversee the case, levels of oversight that are not standard practice but that authorities felt were necessary "given the nature of the matter."
They ultimately told Sidhu the investigation did not meet the threshold for charges, but referred the matter to Surrey RCMP after she complained.
"I think that it's ridiculous that these people would be investigating their boss's wife," Sidhu told CTV News.
She also raised issues with how the investigation was handled. Sidhu said she reported the incident on June 7, the day after it happened, and that the investigation was done by June 10. She also said police never visited her in person to take her statement.
For her part, Lorraine Dubord issued an apology to the Delta Optimist newspaper last week, saying that "everyone should feel welcomed and supported in our community."
"I would like to reaffirm my ongoing commitment to promoting diversity and fighting racism and hate in our community. I will continue to listen and learn from the discourse occurring in our community on this matter," she wrote.
As the outside investigation continues through Surrey RCMP, the Delta Police Board has scheduled an open meeting on Tuesday morning and has said members of the public are welcome to submit questions and concerns by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the full statement from Police Chief Neil Dubord below:
I feel that it is important that I speak directly to our community regarding an important matter.
On June 7, 2020, our Department received a complaint from the public, alleging an assault by my partner. I want to say unreservedly that the matter at hand in no way reflects the values and commitment to the community of the officers of the Delta Police Department, nor my own values. Out of respect for our office, I also feel that it is important to note that the complaint does not involve a member of the Delta Police Department.
I want the community to know that I have not been involved in any way with the resulting investigation. I have confidence in the Department that no matter who is involved their commitment to integrity and to our community is the first priority. I understand that the investigation has been handed over to an independent police department, I believe that this is important to ensure that the community can remain confident that this matter is investigated thoroughly and acted upon properly.
Transparency and accountability are essential in maintaining and building trust with the community. Given the recent, meaningful and important discourse taking place around systemic racism, discrimination and violence in North America, I understand that transparency and trust are critically important – especially from those in the police department. That is why I felt it is important for me to issue a public statement.
As we look forward, it is my duty as Chief of Police and, indeed the responsibility of the entire Department to continue our efforts to exemplify the excellence in policing that our community expects from us. But I also recognize that I personally, and our Department need to continue to listen, learn, and improve.
Given my personal proximity and out of respect for the Complainant and the ongoing investigation, I will not be speaking further on this matter.