Nfld. & Labrador

Complaint process for Doug Snelgrove underway after not guilty verdict

Chief Bill Janes says the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary will continue to support victims.

Chief Bill Janes says discipline will be determined by complaints commission process

Const. Douglas Snelgrove broke down in tears after the jury announced he was found not guilty of sexual assault. The RNC investigation into a complaint against the suspended officer is now underway. (Glenn Payette/CBC)

The chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says he "will not tolerate any unprofessional or unethical behaviour" by his officers, and the complaint process for Const. Doug Snelgrove is ongoing.

Snelgrove was found not guilty of sexual assault last week, prompting public outcry and protests, including one scheduled for outside RNC headquarters in St. John's at noon Monday.

We are bound by the rules of the RNC Act.- Chief Bill Janes

Chief Bill Janes said Snelgrove has been suspended without pay since July 2015 and will remain so, while the complaints process gets back underway.

A complaint against Snelgrove was received, but that process was suspended while the criminal prosecution was underway, in accordance with the RNC Act, Janes said in a statement Sunday.

Chief Bill Janes says any disciplinary action against Doug Snelgrove will be determined by the complaints commission. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

"I do not and will not tolerate any unprofessional or unethical behaviour by my officers. That would be unfair to the hundreds of outstanding women and men, both police officers and civilians, who deliver compassionate and ethical police services every day in our community," said Janes.

"Some of the details that came out during this trial were undoubtedly hard to hear for many people and I want to assure you that these matters will be taken very seriously as part of the Public Complaints process."

'Bound by the rules'

Barring an appeal from the Crown, Janes said that process will now begin, and any decisions regarding discipline will need to follow protocol under the RNC Act.

"Some members of the community have demanded that we dismiss Snelgrove immediately; however, we are bound by the rules of the RNC Act," said Janes.

Broken eggs and shells were left on the door of Supreme Court in St. John's following the demonstrations Friday. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

"Once the Public Complaint process has concluded, a decision on the discipline will be made which could include dismissal of [Doug] Snelgrove."

Janes said in the statement he's spoken to community leaders and wants to reiterate that police will continue to support victims.

"I continue to encourage any victim of sexual assault to come forward," said Janes.

"It is important that we maintain peaceful and respectful dialogue and continue to work together as a community to enhance and build stronger relationships with each other."