A senior Vancouver police officer has been ordered dismissed from the force for discreditable conduct after an inappropriate relationship with a junior constable who died by suicide.
The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner says in a statement the order was made against Sgt. Dave Van Patten but he can request a review of the decision.
It says Constable Nicole Chan killed herself last January and the police complaint commissioner ordered an investigation, which was conducted by the New Westminster police.
The statement says the investigation revealed Van Patten was in an inappropriate relationship with Chan while also serving as a human resources officer for the Vancouver police.
Last week, it says the discipline authority, Chief Officer Dave Jones of the Transit Police, rendered a decision concluding that three allegations of discreditable conduct were substantiated.
It adds Jones imposed penalties including ordering Van Patten to be dismissed, but his service record won’t reflect the dismissal while the commissioner’s office waits to hear if he’ll ask for a review.
“This is a serious and tragic matter. As Police Act proceedings remain underway, no further details will be released at this time,” Andrea Spindler, deputy police complaint commissioner, says in the statement Thursday.
She says police officers facing dismissal have an automatic right to request the decision be reviewed by a retired judge through a public hearing.
The commissioner could also choose to order a public hearing if it’s considered to be in the public interest, but no determination has been made, she adds.
Vancouver police Constable Tania Visintin says in a statement that the department respects the police complaint commissioner process and the final outcome.
“We continue to grieve the loss of Constable Chan and provide support to our membership as needed. The Vancouver police will continue to be in touch with Constable Chan’s family.”