British Columbia

VPD sergeant ordered dismissed after 'inappropriate' relationship with junior officer

Sgt. David Van Patten has been ordered dismissed for discredible conduct following a lengthy investigation.

Sgt. David Van Patten ordered dismissed for discredible conduct following lengthy investigation

Vancouver Police Department logo on an officer's jacket sleeve.
Sgt. David Van Patten has been ordered dismissed from the Vancouver Police Department following an investigation into his relationship with a junior officer who later took her own life. (Christer Waara/CBC)

A senior Vancouver Police Department sergeant has been ordered dismissed after a lengthy investigation into his relationship with a junior officer.

The investigation, undertaken by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, found that Sgt. David Van Patten was in an "inappropriate" relationship with Const. Nicole Chan.

The investigation into the officer was launched in April, 2019, according to Deputy Police Complaint Commissioner Andrea Spindler.

Investigators substantiated three allegations of discreditable conduct levied against Van Patten. He has been ordered dismissed.

Van Patten can appeal the decision through a public hearing.

A woman in a police uniform smiles as she stands next to a flag of the Vancouver Police Department.
Nicole Chan tragically took her own life in January, 2019, following her relationship with senior VPD sergeant David Van Patten. (Submitted by VPD)

In a statement, Chan's family members said they were satisfied with the decision but are still concerned with the events leading up to her death.

"The termination of Sgt. Van Patten represents one step in our ongoing efforts to get justice for Nicole. More needs to be done to hold those who abused their power accountable, and for Nicole's friends and family, this issue is far from resolved," read a statement from her sister, Jenn Chan, who is also a CBC employee.

Vancouver police Const. Tania Visintin said in a statement the department respects the police complaint commissioner process and the final outcome.

"We continue to grieve the loss of Const. Chan and provide support to our membership as needed. The Vancouver police will continue to be in touch with Const. Chan's family," said Visintin.


With files from the Canadian Press