A criminal investigation has been launched into alleged misconduct at an undercover training program for B.C. municipal police departments, Global News has learned.
The course happened at a downtown Vancouver hotel in May. About two dozen officers from various B.C. policing agencies took part in the training, which was apparently so disturbing, some officers reported it to their supervisors.
As Global News first reported, those reports quickly led to a separate code of conduct investigation under the Police Act.
Now, that investigation has been superseded by a criminal probe, ordered in recent days by British Columbia Director of Police Services Wayne Rideout, sources told Global News.
During the undercover training course, 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 individual, food used in a sexual manner along with other even more perverse acts.
In an email, the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, which initiated the original Police Act investigation, said it had “ordered the disciplinary investigation into the alleged conduct to be suspended pursuant to section 179(1) of the Police Act to avoid any prejudice to a criminal investigation or prosecution.”
The Police Act investigation, now on pause, involves members from the Abbotsford Police Department, Vancouver Police Department, New Westminster Police Department, Delta Police Department, Surrey Police Service, Saanich Police Department, Metro Vancouver Transit Police and Victoria Police Department.
It’s being led by Manitoba’s Independent Investigation Unit with West Vancouver Police Chief John Lo appointed as discipline authority.
The new criminal investigation is being performed by the RCMP, according to a source. However the subject or subjects of the probe and its scope remain unclear.
None of the allegations have been proven.