B.C. watchdog finds 77 cops crossed line in ’09

A police officer’s attempt to cover up a breastfeeding infant, too muchsarcasm and trying to gain preferential treatment during a traffic stopwere among the 77 substantiated allegations of police being bad in B.C.this year.

A police officer’s attempt to cover up a breastfeeding infant, too much sarcasm and trying to gain preferential treatment during a traffic stop were among the 77 substantiated allegations of police being bad in B.C. this year.

British Columbia’s police complaint commissioner issued a report yesterday into 569 allegations of police misconduct between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, 2009.

Of those, the commissioner found that 273 complaints were not substantiated. Some others were withdrawn, mediated or informally resolved. This left 77 cases where police were disciplined or corrective measures were taken.

The report aims to ensure that public confidence in police is maintained, according to Bruce Brown, deputy police complaint commissioner.

Police misconducts can lead to verbal reprimands, a reduction in rank and even dismissal.

However, an officer who “spoke to the victim of an alleged sexual assault in an oppressive and inappropriate manner” avoided discipline after being transferred to another department before the investigation ended.

Another quit the force after being accused of sexual assault. While the investigation found neglect of duty and deceit, the officer was not criminally charged.

The officer who used “a blanket or a newspaper” to cover a breastfeeding baby was given advice on how to better handle nursing mothers.

Acting sarcastic resulted in “managerial direction” for another cop.

An officer who twice attempted to use his or her position to “gain preferential treatment during a traffic stop” was given a written reprimand, asked to submit two written apologies and made to undertake counselling before being allowed to return to work.

The report does not identify the investigated officers.

 
 
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