Police tribunal orders officers who 'mocked' citizens to leave WRPS
Saying three officers “clearly violated the trust” of the public with “degrading, mocking and disgusting behaviour,” a Waterloo Regional Police superintendent ruled Monday that all three should lose their jobs.
Const. Jeff Vongkhamphou, Const. Timothy Green and Const. Graeme Kobayashi were all found guilty of deceit, discreditable conduct and other offences under the Police Services Act.
Vongkhamphou’s sentence was an outright dismissal, while Green and Kobayashi were given one week to either resign from the service or be fired.
Charges were first laid against Vongkhamphou in 2011, as a result of information that came to light during an unrelated investigation.
Green and Kobayashi were charged later.
All three were part of a BlackBerry Messenger group which discussed calls they performed and citizens they came into contact with – often in vulgar and mocking fashion.
“They committed crimes or stood by while others did, they victimized the community and targeted marginalized persons and people under their protection, they targeted their own and then if that was not enough lied about their involvement, repeatedly,” Supt. Robert Gould concluded.
“They have violated the public trust to such a degree that they are unworthy of that trust.”
Defence lawyer David Butt says all three officers were disappointed by the sentence and plan to appeal – and in fact filed documents to that effect to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission shortly after the sentencing hearing.
“It’s important in cases like this … for there to be a sober, orderly second look,” Butt tells CTV News.
That means they will remain employed by WRPS – on paid suspensions, as they have been since charges were first laid – until the appeal is dealt with.