Guelph police officer stole, consumed drugs while on the job
A Guelph police officer has pleaded guilty to five charges, including one charge of consuming drugs on the job.
But it was methadone, a liquid traditionally used to help wean drug users off of more powerful drugs like heroin and morphine, that started Const. Chris Panylo on the path to Friday’s Police Services Act hearing.
In July 2011, Panylo responded to a drug call in the parking lot of the Stone Road Mall.
Officers in the parking lot seized a quantity of stolen methadone.
Some of the methadone was placed in Panylo’s care, where he replaced it with water before sending it onto Health Canada.
Panylo also consumed the methadone, which made him sick. He was taken to hospital unconscious.
A few days later, Panylo sent a text message to a friend, asking the friend to clean out his locker.
Police searched the locker and found dozens of syringes, which Panylo was regularly using to inject himself with steroids while at work.
In total, Panylo pleaded guilty to five charges: three counts of discreditable conduct, and one charge each of neglect of duty and consuming drugs while working.
“We’re pleased that we had a guilty plea entered today, and we’re ready to move forward with the sentencing aspect,” Insp. Howard McGarr told CTV.
Panylo has been suspended with pay since being charged, and will continue to be so until a sentencing hearing this summer.
Panylo’s lawyer says he hopes the Guelph Police Service will take his client’s drug addiction into account when considering a sentence and not fire him over it.
“I’m certainly impressed with the strides he’s taken and the responsibility he’s show,” said Bernard Cummins.
Convicted criminally of theft, Panylo has been serving a one-year probation sentence, compled community service and begun to attend addiction counselling.
The investigation into Panylo discovered that the steroids he was taking at work were bought from another colleague, who will also be charged under the Police Services Act.