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The Vancouver Police Department's new administrate offices are pictured during the grand opening of the facility in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday January 24, 2012. (Darryl Dyck For The Globe and Mail/Darryl Dyck For The Globe and Mail)
The Vancouver Police Department's new administrate offices are pictured during the grand opening of the facility in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday January 24, 2012. (Darryl Dyck For The Globe and Mail/Darryl Dyck For The Globe and Mail)

Vancouver police face discipline for surfing porn Add to ...

Vancouver police officers who used office computers to view and e-mail pornographic videos and other inappropriate material should have realized their activities were improper, Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu says.

“They know better,” Chief Chu told reporters on Thursday. “Our polices are clear, and when this happens, we will hold them accountable.”

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Earlier, Superintendent Jeff Sim told reporters that 14 Vancouver police officers ranging in rank from constable to inspector and one civilian employee were facing internal disciplinary reviews for viewing and e-mailing pornography and other inappropriate and offensive images while at work.

The Vancouver police department policy on e-mail and Internet security prohibits the use of e-mail to send material that is pornographic, sexual, erotic, offensive, lewd or obscene. Personal use of police department computers, including access to an Internet connection and e-mail, is permitted provided it does not adversely affect the employee’s work.

Supt. Sim said the police department employees had each viewed or sent out “roughly a dozen” e-mails with inappropriate still or video images. Some viewed “a significantly higher” number, he said.

The images ranged from photos that would be found only by searching for pornography on the Internet to those that could be seen in a newspaper or in Sports Illustrated, he said.

The employees, who remain on the job, were caught during an unrelated internal investigation in August. Supt. Sim refused to say where they worked.

All were male. But Chief Chu dismissed a suggestion that the work environment within the police department is difficult for women. “We are a pretty welcoming organization for women,” he said. Nearly 23 per cent of police officers and the majority of civilian staff are women, he said.

None of the images was considered to be illegal, and neither the public nor staff within the Vancouver police department have lodged a complaint related to the e-mails or Internet viewings, he said.

However, viewing the images and sending them in e-mail was considered to be inappropriate use of police department equipment and their time. “I want all of the Vancouver Police Department employees and officers to focus on fighting crime. I don’t want them distracted by sending inappropriate e-mails out,” Chief Chu said. “They should not be using department equipment for e-mails like this.”







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