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‘Appalling’ allegations at B.C. police undercover training course prompt investigation

Click to play video: 'Investigation into officer behaviour at a training session could result in a criminal investigation' Investigation into officer behaviour at a training session could result in a criminal investigation
On Monday, a Global News investigation outlined how the province's police watchdog is investigating a training course at the Wall Centre where municipal officers allegedly engaged in some untoward behaviour. B.C.'s Solicitor General is now saying if the out-of-province investigating agency uncovers anything criminal, it would trigger a separate criminal investigation. Catherine Urquhart reports. ** Warning: Details maybe disturbing to some viewers** – May 31, 2022

A Global News investigation has uncovered disturbing allegations linked to numerous policing agencies in B.C., and the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner has confirmed that its own probe is underway.

According to sources, about 24 police officers were attending an undercover training course, conducted by the association of B.C. municipal police chiefs, at a downtown Vancouver hotel earlier this month. In attendance were officers from the police departments in Surrey, Vancouver, Abbotsford and New Westminster, as well as the Metro Vancouver Transit Police.

Those officers were asked to role-play and show how they might convince those on the wrong side of the law that they weren’t police officers. In one instance, this allegedly involved defecation on another person, food used in a sexual manner, and other even more perverse acts.

Sources tell Global News that the course immediately stopped, and some officers found the role-playing so disturbing that they reported it to their supervisors.

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Click to play video: 'Global BC investigation uncovers disturbing allegations involving a number of police agencies in this province' Global BC investigation uncovers disturbing allegations involving a number of police agencies in this province
Global BC investigation uncovers disturbing allegations involving a number of police agencies in this province – May 30, 2022

Read more: Watchdog calls for further probe after video shows Vancouver cop shoving man to the ground

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, which investigates allegations of misconduct by municipal police, said municipal police chiefs reported what occurred to them and requested an investigation under the Police Act.

“The Commissioner has determined that it is in the public interest to disclose that information has been brought to our attention related to allegations of serious misconduct on the part of a number of officers participating in a recent BC Municipal Police undercover training course,” the office said in a statement.

“The alleged misconduct involves municipal police officers from multiple BC municipal police departments and is alleged to have occurred within the course activities.”

Click to play video: 'Video shows VPD officer shoving man to the ground' Video shows VPD officer shoving man to the ground
Video shows VPD officer shoving man to the ground – Aug 3, 2021

Read more: Two Vancouver police officers found ‘reckless’ for use of force during 2016 wellness check

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When asked about the investigation, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said any probe would also involve his ministry’s director of police services

“It sounds disgusting, if those allegations are in fact correct. It’s just appalling, frankly,” Farnworth said.

Members of the RCMP also attended the training, but were not participating, Global News has learned.

“There is no RCMP internal or outside agency investigation dealing with any allegations against a RCMP employee or employees related to the course or the concerns you raised,” the RCMP told Global News in a statement.

It’s believed that nine of the participating municipal officers are under ​investigation.

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