Improper Saanich police arrest going to public hearing

OPCC will hold a public hearing into allegations of professional misconduct against a Saanich police officer

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner announced this week it will hold a public hearing into allegations of professional misconduct against a Saanich police officer.

Complaint commissioner Stan Lowe on Monday said the hearing will look into allegations of deceit and abuse of authority involving Const. David Smit following a May 2011 incident. Smit himself requested the hearing.

While attending a report of a domestic dispute on May 20, 2011, Smit directed a man out of his home in order to arrest him for intoxication in a public place.

“When questioned by his superiors about his actions, Constable Smit denied that he had directed the male outside in order to affect his arrest,” Lowe wrote in a release. “Constable Smit subsequently admitted his actions to his supervisors and the arrested individual was released from custody as he was improperly arrested.”

Saanich police Sgt. Steve Eassie explained that being intoxicated inside a home does not constitute a public place, although being outside does. “Once you are outside the threshold of your door, you are in a public place because you’re accessible to the public.”

A Saanich police investigation in 2012 proved the deceit and abuse of authority allegations, and Const. Smit was suspended without pay for seven days, and his rank was to be demoted to third-class constable.

According to Lowe, an officer is allowed to request a public hearing in circumstances where the discipline decision is dismissal or a reduction in rank. Smit contacted the OPCC in January 2013.

Lowe has recommended retired provincial court judge Jakob S. De Villiers preside as adjudicator. A date for the hearing has yet to be determined.

Eassie says the police department won’t comment further.

Smit has been with the Saanich police for four and a half years and is currently on administrative duties.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Conflict expert explains how to talk to people who aren’t social distancing

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

COVID-19: Managing your mental health from isolation

Ministry of Mental Health, Addictions recommends numerous strategies for self-care during pandemic

Saanich moves forward with summer camp registration despite COVID-19

District to give full refunds if camps are cancelled

Sunday morning fire damages Victoria gas station

The fire on Fairfield Road caused $75,000 in estimated damages to tires and automotive equipment

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read