Halifax Regional Police found themselves investigating one of their own over the weekend after an officer was accused of extorting money from a member of the public.
Police say 29-year-old Const. Jeffrey Buchanan was arrested while on duty at headquarters early Saturday morning, and was charged yesterday with extortion and breach of trust.
According to Deputy Chief Chris McNeil, Buchanan came into contact with someone during the course of his duties on Thursday afternoon, and allegedly extorted an undisclosed amount of money from that person.
“Two frontline officers came into some information which led them to believe that (Buchanan) had been involved in some sort of criminal misconduct,” McNeil told reporters yesterday at HRP headquarters. “They then brought that forward to their superiors…and it required action immediately. This has been ongoing since late Thursday evening, pretty much around the clock.”
McNeil would not get into specifics of where or how the incident took place, but did say that additional charges are expected in what he admitted is a “complex” case.
Buchanan, a four-and-a-half year veteran of the Halifax police force, has not worked in any other jurisdictions and has a clean record, said McNeil. He has been suspended from his duties, but is still eligible to receive pay for at least 60 days.
“These are very serious charges,” McNeil said. “The public expects us to beyond reproach, and holds police officers in great public trust. When you know these people, and these things happen, you’re often shocked.”
Buchanan has been released on bail, and is scheduled to appear in Halifax Provincial Court on Jan. 26.