One of BC’s police watchdogs says it wants to go outside the province to find an investigator who has been investigating an astonishing array of allegations about what happened in a course that trains undercover officers.
CTV News has learned that the BC Municipal Undercover Program course was abruptly halted earlier this month after allegations that several officers went to extreme lengths in a course scenario to prove they are not a police officer.
Those actions would include exposing genitals, defecating at another cop, penetrating an cop with vegetables and removing feminine hygiene products, multiple sources confirmed to CTV News.
“That sounds disgusting if those allegations are true. It’s honestly horrific,” BC Attorney General Mike Farnworth told CTV News in an audio interview.
“This is an investigation that must take place. We want it done quickly. We want it to be done right. That’s what’s going to happen,” he said.
About two dozen officers attended the course at the Sheraton Wall Center in downtown Vancouver, sources said. They came from many different agencies, including the Vancouver Police Department and the Metro Vancouver Transit Police.
The course itself is conducted under the BC Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police, unlike the Justice Institute of BC
Police departments last week referred questions from CTV News to Transit Police, who responded with a statement: “The police stations participating in the recent BC Municipal Undercover training are aware of the allegations that have been made regarding the conduct of several agents during the course.”
“As a result of the review, a request has been prepared … to the Police Commissioner’s Office requesting an investigation order,” said spokesman Const. Amanda Steed.
That order would have kept the investigation in the province, but given the large number of municipal police forces involved, the agency that oversees investigations into police misconduct said it would leave the province.
“The alleged misconduct involved municipal police officers from multiple BC municipal police departments and allegedly took place within the course activities,” said OPCC’s Cameron Loveless. “In light of the number of BC municipal police forces involved, the commissioner has written to the Department of Public Security and the Solicitor General seeking assistance in identifying an investigative body that is appropriately independent of any BC agencies.”
Critics say they want an independent investigation into a rather secretive domain of police, and have raised questions about what funds were spent and whether it should be in a hotel in downtown Vancouver.
“It is deeply concerning to hear about reports of really disturbing and inappropriate behavior under the guise of police training. This is something that residents across BC are funding,” said Meenakshi Mannoe of Pivot Legal Society.