Kelowna top cop "very sorry" for how wellness check on student was handled

Jul 3 2020, 11:29 am

After a nursing student at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) in Kelowna filed a civil claim stating she was assaulted in her apartment at the hands of an RCMP officer who had come to do a wellness check on her, the RCMP Commander in charge of the Kelowna detachment said this week he is “very sorry” about what happened.

Speaking about the situation at a press conference this week, RCMP Southeast District Commander Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli said that when he viewed the video footage, he was “deeply concerned” by what he saw.

“I’m very sorry for what occurred,” he said. “If that was my family member or friend, I would have deep concerns and want answers as well.”

Hauglu said he wants people to know that he’s heard the concerns of the public, and “high public confidence is what we strive for.”

When officials within the RCMP organization “become aware of concerning behaviour, we need to assure the public that we’re taking the necessary steps to gather all the facts… to make a determination on what occurred, and to hold our members accountable.”

Haugli said that as soon as the video was shared with Kelowna detachment senior members and him, an investigation into what occurred was “mandated immediately.” The investigation, he added, “has been made a priority and will be advanced to an external police agency” — in this case, the Abbotsford Police Department — for review.

Once this process is complete, he said, “the investigative findings will be shared with Crown Counsel. We will provide an update when the findings have been shared with Crown Counsel.”

Haugli said he anticipates that this report will be completed and advanced to Crown Counsel “by mid-July.”

In the meantime, the officer involved was “immediately removed from operational work and placed into an administrative role.”

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