A veteran detective in southern Ontario has been charged with accessing and possessing child pornography, the Peel Regional Police announced Wednesday.

Police said the officer, a 30-year veteran of the force who worked with the Technological Crime Unit, was arrested on Wednesday. He also faces fraud charges.

"All I can say at this time is that the investigation started in April, and that as a result of the investigation he was arrested this morning," said Staff Sgt. Dan Richardson.

He said a complaint led to the investigation. 

Police Chief Jennifer Evans said in a news release said she takes the allegations "very seriously," but didn't say more about what the officer allegedly did.

Police said an "in-depth" investigation led to the arrest.

"As a police service there will be difficult days ahead," Evans said, adding she hopes the accusations don't detract from the work of other police officers.

The Technological Crime Unit, where the officer worked, focuses on the "seizure, collection, examination and preservation of electronic evidence," according to the force's website.

Previously, the charged detective worked with several other sections, including the Major Collision Bureau, where he was a sergeant.

Craig Wattier is charged with:

  • Accessing child pornography.
  • Possessing child pornography.
  • Breach of trust.
  • Two counts of fraud over $5,000.

Wattier has been suspended with pay while the investigation continues.