Two West Van police officers reprimanded: Report

Two West Vancouver Police Department members have been disciplined for misconduct under the Police Act.

The incidents happened in August and September 2018, but are revealed in the latest quarterly report released by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, the arms-length agency that oversees investigations into misconduct among municipal police officers.

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In the first case, an off-duty officer “drove his personal vehicle while his ability was affected by alcohol in contravention of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act.”

According to the report, the officer received a three-day immediate roadside suspension on Aug. 12, 2018 after blowing within the “warn” range on a breathalyzer, which kicks in at a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05.

The officer reported the incident to his superiors and “took full responsibility,” the report notes.

Under the Police Act, impaired driving is considered discreditable conduct and the officer received a one-day suspension, which the Police Complaint Commissioner agreed was appropriate.

“The Prehearing Conference Authority explored whether there was an underlying issue associated to the alcohol consumption and determined that there was not. Therefore, he was satisfied that there was no need for a program or activity in these circumstances,” the report states.

A second officer was found to have committed misconducted on Sept. 17, 2018 during a mishap at an outdoor gun range.

“A police officer failed to handle his pistol in a safe manner when he had an unintended discharge at an outdoor range.

“The bullet went through the window of a police vehicle. There were no injuries and no other property damage was located,” the report states.

Under the act, that amounted to neglect of duty for failing to comply with department policies.

“The police officer was permanently removed from his duties as a firearms instructor post this incident and was sent for an independent assessment of his firearms handling skills and was qualified to carry a duty pistol,” the report states.

Under the Police Act, officers under a misconduct investigation cannot be named.

In each of the 14 cases of police misconduct listed in the report, the commissioner noted the intent of the act is to “consider an approach that seeks to correct and educate the member as long as the approach does not bring the administration of police discipline into disrepute.”

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