Two Delta Police officers have been disciplined following a five-month long investigation into a complaint of workplace and sexual harassment.
A third-party complainant filed in October 2017 alleged there had been inappropriate behaviour between people on one of the patrol platoons, including jokes and comments. An investigation was started in consultation with the Office of Police Complaints Commissioner not long after.
According to Chief Neil Dubord, the investigation looked at both the incidents in the complaint and the overall culture of the police department.
“We wanted to be able to investigate the incident itself, and we wanted to be able to investigate if it’s prevalent in other areas of the organization,” Dubord told the Delta police board on April 11. “You just can’t isolate it to the incident, but you need to be able to make sure it isn’t prevalent in all areas of the organization.”
Two officers were assigned full-time to the file, and interviewed more than 30 people. Over the course of those interviews, nine people were identified as central to the complaint (referred to as “subject officers” in the final report).
The results of the investigation, brought forward during Wednesday morning’s Delta police board meeting, saw two of those officers receive disciplinary measures — which included mediation and suspension without pay. (The OPCC received the final investigation report and was satisfied with the findings, conclusion and disciplinary measures.)
According to Dubord, all the members involved are still employed by the department, and the DPD is working to rebuild the relationships between the parties.
“I think it has been a challenging time for the Delta Police Department,” Dubord said. “But I do believe we are much stronger.”
“There’s no tolerance for this, there’s no time for this, and we will deal with it in as swift a manner that we can.” he continued.
In the investigation, Deputy Chief Norm Lipinski identified nine areas that could be improved to help the department create a positive and respectful working environment. These include: further respectful workplace training, a review of the field training officer program, stabilizing patrol supervision through substantive supervisors, implementing a “recruit check up” system, re-assigning C-platoon, mediation between subject officers and affected officers, and debriefing with subject officers, the professional standards section and the Delta Police Association.
“Policy is one thing, but once you have it in place, and once you have some occurrences, there’s always some learning to take away,” Lipinksi told the board. “I feel quite confident now moving ahead that we’re in a much stronger place.”