A constable with the Regina Police Service (RPS) is facing six charges of operating a vehicle while prohibited and has been relieved of his duties for 30 days.
According to a press release from RPS, Const. Scott Shane Ash, 38, was charged after an investigation by RPS in consultation with the Crown.
“We have to be able to rely on our members to be up front and honest and open with us. I have some disappointment in this case,” said Regina Police Chief Evan Bray.
“There’s no question about that because I feel like had we had a good, open, honest conversation a while ago, we could’ve prevented any of this from happening because we could’ve left him in a position where he wasn’t out there.
“Even something like unpaid fines, we don’t have access to that information.”
RPS added these matters have not been proven in court but provided some background into the investigation.
On Aug. 19, 2021, an RPS vehicle equipped with an ALPR (Automated License Plate Reader) emitted an alarm, signalling a suspended driver when it passed by a parked vehicle which was later identified as Ash’s personal vehicle.
RPS alleges the investigation that followed confirmed Ash was a prohibited driver and also alleges that Ash operated police vehicles as an RPS constable on at least six occasions between July 14, 2021, and Aug. 26, 2021.
“The (RPS) was not aware Ash’s license was suspended on July 14 due to unpaid fines,” the release stated.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s the Regina Police Service or any other employer that has people that drive their vehicles. There isn’t really a reporting mechanism there and in some ways I can understand there is some privacy concerns there but I think as a police agency we have to set up some precautions to prevent that kind of falling through the cracks in the future,” said Bray.
RPS also learned during their investigation that Ash was only permitted to operate a vehicle with an ignition interlock device, due to a guilty plea to an impaired driving charge from August 2019.
“We don’t just do random Canadian Police Information Centre checks for the sake of it. There is some fairly strict guidelines around running a name on CPIC. You’ve got to give the reason behind it,” said Bray.
“It’s got to be a defendable reason. There are audits done on that system, no different than accessing SGI so we would never do it as a random check.”
Bray ordered Ash relieved from duty for 30 days. There will also be an administrative investigation in accordance with provisions of The Police Act, 1990 conducted by the professional standards unit of the RPS.
The administrative investigation will only conclude after the criminal matters have been dealt with, RPS says.
Ash also has some internal incidents in his 12-year career.
“We know that there has been the issue of the impaired driving but there have been a couple of other what I would call discipline issues in the officer’s career,” reported Bray.
“So those will be factors that I will consider when I’m making the decision at the end of the criminal trial, at the end of the administrative process, the police act investigation that will weigh in the decision into where we land.”
However, Bray believes that this case does not reflect the culture of the Regina Police Service.
“I’m certainly not worried that this is just the tip of the iceberg or the start of a problem. This is definitely a one-off,” Bray said.
“It’s one that I’m not proud of as chief of police and it’s definitely something that we are going to have to work through but it’s something that is not indicative for sure of our organization.”
Ash is scheduled to make his first court appearance on the charges in provincial court on March 24.