Fredericton police deal with mounting suspensions of officers
Impaired driving arrest of off-duty officer leads to fifth officer being suspended from duty
Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch says she will soon speak publicly on the broad issue of members of her force being suspended from duty.
The latest suspension is the result of an off-duty officer being arrested for impaired driving after a single-vehicle traffic accident on Sunday.
Another off-duty officer was arrested for impaired driving on July 8 and was suspended with pay. The case is still being investigated by the Miramichi Police Force.
The other suspensions issued were:
- Const. Cherie Campbell is awaiting a retrial in Houlton, Me., on a minor shoplifting charge.
- The RCMP are investigating a misappropriation of funds allegation against an officer, who was an executive member of the New Brunswick Police Association.
- Fitch filed a complaint against an officer in June after a pedestrian was hit by the officer's cruiser.
Fitch has declined to comment on any of the specific investigations.
It calls into question the public's confidence in the police force.- Michael Boudreau, criminologist
Michael Boudreau, a St. Thomas University criminologist, said even if the officers are subsequently cleared, the damage is hard to repair.
"It calls into question the public's confidence in the police force," said Boudreau.
"It does make it difficult for them on a daily basis in a small community, like Fredericton, to do their jobs."
Fitch has been the chief of police for two years.
Deputy Mayor Eric Megarity says Fitch still has the confidence of city council.
"We're 100 per cent behind the police chief and they're doing a great job and this will not affect how they police the city," he said.