'Sensitive and difficult news': RCMP internal memo on officer's arrest
Published Thursday, March 14, 2019 7:32PM PDT
In an internal memo obtained by CTV News, Richmond RCMP staff are advised of an officer’s arrest by Vancouver police and that he “will most likely appear in court on a later date.”
The officer was arrested by the VPD early Tuesday in connection with an ongoing investigation into alleged indecent acts near York House School in the upscale Shaugnessy area of Vancouver. He has since been released from custody and is not yet charged.
The RCMP memo was sent Wednesday and notifies staff that the suspect officer’s “access to all Richmond detachment buildings has been revoked,” adding that that staff as well as the officer and his family will be provided with peer support.
It goes on to say: “The incident will garner negative media attention...We will not let this incident overshadow the exceptional work that each of you do every day.”
When confirming a member’s arrest, BC RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts told CTV News allegations occurred while the officer was off-duty.
“An internal Code of Conduct is underway and the individual has been suspended with pay,” she wrote in an email.
“They’re taking these things seriously and moving on them more swiftly than may have been in the past,” noted Rob Gordon, a criminology professor at Simon Fraser University.
Gordon applauds the RCMP for the quick implementation of the internal investigation - which is separate from the VPD’s criminal investigation - despite the Mountie not being charged.
“The new commissioner and all the other individuals who’ve been brought into the RCMP are eager to demonstrate that it’s not ‘business a usual,’” he said. “They’re bringing in a new approach to these types of issues. Let’s hope they sustain that.”
Vancouver police have been investigating complaints near the private all-girls York House School for months. Last month, they issued a warning after a teen girl reported a man in a black Mercedes SUV pulling up next to her at West 33rd Avenue and Margeurite Street and exposing himself.
Parents of the school received a memo from administrators notifying them of Tuesday’s arrest of a suspect and citing months of safety warnings and several incidents of indecent exposure.
When asked how long the investigation might take, Vancouver police said they could not provide a timeline. Neither the VPD nor the RCMP is naming the suspect officer as he has not yet been charged.