Surrey Police Service has announced five more hires to its leadership team. (File photo)

Surrey Police Service has announced five more hires to its leadership team. (File photo)

Police in B.C. confirm truth to allegations new inspector drove impaired

Information disclosed during hiring process, deemed ‘not a barrier’ by Surrey Police Service

Surrey Police Service officials announced yet another set of new hires this week, that of five more inspectors.

READ MORE: Surrey Police Service hires first three inspectors as ‘next layer of leadership’

And, following criticisms on social media, they have confirmed that there is truth to allegations that one of the five is fresh off of a 90-day driving prohibition for being impaired behind the wheel.

However, SPS public affairs and communications manager Sharlene Brooks told Peace Arch News that the information regarding Jeff Metcalfe was not news to those in charge of doing the hiring – he disclosed it during the process.

“With the hiring of any candidate, the Surrey Police Service makes an informed decision. Where candidates disclose personal information that is relevant to their hiring, the Surrey Police Service will assess that information to determine whether it is a barrier to being hired,” reads a statement Brooks provided to PAN Thursday evening.

“In this specific case, Inspector Metcalfe made full disclosure of the circumstances and has taken complete responsibility for his actions.

“The Surrey Police is more than satisfied that Inspector Metcalfe will make a strong contribution to the Surrey Police team and appreciates his candor during the interview & hiring process and look forward to welcoming him in May and benefitting from his 24 years of policing service.”

At least two people took to social media shortly after Brooks released word Thursday afternoon that Metcalfe, Bal Brach, Cliff Chastellaine, Jeff Harris and Dawn Richards were joining the SPS leadership team. Tweets described one particular hire as “outrageous” and “a total disgrace.”

Brooks said Surrey Police Service would not be commenting further on the matter.

According to the earlier SPS news release, the five new hires bring “a diverse and varied level of experience.”

The majority are former RCMP members.

Metcalfe, it states, has been with the RCMP for 24 years and is currently divisional duty officer for BC-RCMP Criminal Operations.

Brach is currently senior investigation officer with the Lower Mainland District RCMP; Chastellaine is superintendent of ‘E’ Division Major Crime; Harris, who began his policing career with the RCMP in Saskatchewan, is duty officer in the Operations Division at Vancouver Police Department; and Richards is district command inspector for VPD’s Operations Division.

Next, the SPS is going to focus on building up the Recruiting Unit and begin the hiring process for the ranks of staff sergeant and sergeant, the release states.

“We are moving forward and anxious to begin community consultation on shaping the policing priorities with the community, in the coming months as our foundational work progresses,” Chief Norm Lipinski states in the release.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
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