Olympic RCMP officer charged
Last Updated: Friday, February 19, 2010 | 6:40 PM PT
An RCMP officer assigned to security duties for the Winter Olympics has been charged with theft under $5,000 in connection with an alleged shoplifting incident in Burnaby, B.C.
Charged was Staff Sgt. Suzanne Martel, a 19-year RCMP veteran stationed in Ottawa who had been temporarily seconded to the Integrated Security Unit, the combined force performing security duties for the Games.
The charges against Martel were confirmed late Friday by Robin Baird, a Crown counsel with B.C.'s Justice Branch.
The theft allegedly occurred Feb. 11 at a Winners clothing store in Burnaby.
The officer was among 11 members of the Integrated Security Unit (ISU) in Vancouver who have been relieved of their duties. Most of them have been sent home for unspecified disciplinary infractions, including two who remain under investigation by the Vancouver Police Department.
Police have not released details about most of the investigations or the identity of the officers involved, but last week it was revealed six members of the ISU were removed from the Olympic unit, including two RCMP members and four Canadian Forces personnel.
On Friday, ISU spokesman Sgt. Mike Cote confirmed that five more police officers have since run into trouble and been sent home, bringing the total to 11, including the two still under investigation.
But Cote bristled at the suggestion of discreditable behaviour by officers who are billeted aboard cruise ships docked in Vancouver.
"I'd like to make it clear right here, right now, there's been allegations of sex-trade workers being brought on the ship and so on. I can emphatically state today that is absolutely not true. None of those incidences ever took place," he said.
He said it has been "disturbing" to have the unit painted with such a brush.
The ISU is made up of about 3,000 police officers from Metro Vancouver and about 6,000 police officers and military personnel from out of town who are lodged on the ships for the duration of the 2010 Winter Games. The cost of the force is about $1 billion.
The Games wrap up in Vancouver and Whistler on Feb. 28.
Latest British Columbia News Headlines
- B.C. native Svein Tuft to make Tour de France debut
- Canadian Svein Tuft will be making his Tour de France debut later this month. more »
- Wearing a mask at a riot becomes a crime today
- The bill that bans the wearing of masks or disguises during a riot or unlawful assembly is scheduled to become law today when it gets royal assent. more »
- B.C. teacher duct-taped students' mouths
- The B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch has reprimanded a Vancouver teacher after she duct-taped her students' mouths in an effort to keep them quiet. more »
- 30,000 Canadians are homeless every night
- A new national report into homelessness in this country tells a grim story — at least 200,000 Canadians experience homelessness in any given year and least 30,000 Canadians are homeless on any given night. more »
Top News Headlines
- Obesity called a disease by U.S. doctors group
- The American Medical Association has voted to recognize obesity as a disease, while doctors in Canada say they also treat it as such. more »
- Neil Macdonald: Washington's obsession with leakers
- Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are just the most prominent targets in an all-out legal and propaganda campaign that America's security apparatus is mounting against leakers everywhere, Neil Macdonald writes. more »
- How open is Ottawa's new 'open data' website?
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement is touting the federal government's revamped data portal as a "new natural resource." But that online window for previously published data arrives at the same time the government faces controversy over just how open it really is. more »
- Half of First Nations children live in poverty
- Half of status First Nations children in Canada live in poverty, a troubling figure that jumps to nearly two-thirds in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, says a newly released report. more »
- B.C. teacher duct-taped students' mouths
- Police probe death of woman, 27, in Kelowna home
- Parents of son 'brutally beaten' playing hockey want charges
- Hundreds attend 'Change Brazil' protest in Vancouver
- Failed condo pre-sale deal costs Vancouver buyer $750K
- The class photo that made a father cry
- B.C. backcountry mobile maps cause concern
- Police probe Mohinder graffiti in East Vancouver
- 4 Vancouver men aim to row the Northwest Passage