British Columbia

Former Victoria police chief to consult for marijuana industry

Frank Elsner says he hopes to stay in Victoria and build a business providing security advice to the marijuana industry.

Frank Elsner says he plans to stay in Victoria and work with marijuana businesses as legalization moves ahead

Frank Elsner served as Victoria's police chief for three and a half years. He was suspended following allegations of misconduct and later resigned. (@chiefelsner)

Victoria's former police chief says he plans to start providing security consulting services for the marijuana industry.

Frank Elsner resigned on May 18 following more than a year of investigations into allegations of misconduct involving female staff and the wife of one of his officers.

In an interview with CBC News, Elsner said he plans to stay in Victoria and is starting a firm called UMBRA Strategic Solutions. It will offer advice for businesses in the emerging legal cannabis market in Canada.

"This is an opportunity for me to move forward with my family. We don't want to move. This is our home," Elsner said.

"I think there is a need now for new voices, especially legitimate voices, to ensure that kids are protected, organized crime isn't part of the equation, and it becomes a legitimate business within our economy."

As Victoria's police chief, Elsner said he developed expertise around the budding marijuana industry. The City of Victoria chose to regulate and license dispensaries rather than force them to close.

As the federal government moves forward with legalization, Elsner said he expects everyone, from growers to distributors to municipalities will need advice on how to navigate the new law.

Disciplinary proceedings continue

Elsner still faces disciplinary proceedings through the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner over allegations of misconduct.

He declined to comment on the matter while it is still ongoing but said he looks forward to the opportunity to defend himself.

Even with discipline hearings hanging over him, Elsner said he decided it is time to move on.

"This has been a devastating experience for me, this last year and a half, and now that I'm no longer with the police department, I'm unemployed, so I need to provide for my family," he said.

"This is one of the ways I am looking to do that."

Elsner earned a salary of just over $200,000 per year as Victoria's police chief.

He was on leave with pay for the duration of the investigation but stopped receiving his salary and other employment benefits immediately upon his resignation.

The Victoria Police Board has declined to release figures on the legal costs related to the Elsner investigation. It says it will do so once the matter has wrapped up.

now