The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner of British Columbia is calling for a review of a 16-day suspension for a police officer in Abbotsford, B.C., saying it doesn’t reflect the seriousness of the domestic violence case.
The commissioner’s office says in a statement the officer admitted to five allegations of misconduct under the Police Act related to the assault and harassment of the officer’s estranged spouse over several months.
A disciplinary investigation found the officer’s misconduct included the assault, installation of GPS tracking devices, harassing behaviours and inappropriate use of police databases.
In a separate criminal investigation into the matter by the Vancouver Police Department, the officer was charged and convicted of assault.
But the Abbotsford police discipline authority recommended the officer receive a suspension without pay of between one and five days for each misconduct allegation, for a total suspension of 16 days without pay.
Retired provincial judge David Pendleton will preside as adjudicator of the review, which has yet to be scheduled.
The Police Complaint Commissioner found the proposed penalties did not reflect the serious, sustained and deliberate nature of this behaviour, which spanned a number of months, the statement says.
“The Commissioner noted that while the discipline authority correctly underscored the seriousness of domestic violence and the public’s expectation that those ‘sworn to protect the vulnerable from intimate partner violence must not engage in it themselves,’ those principles were not sufficiently reflected in the proposed penalties.”
The name of the officer is being withheld to protect the identity of the victim, the commissioner’s office says.
Discipline Authorities are generally senior ranking police officers who are required under the Police Act to discipline officers alleged to have committed misconduct.
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