Damian Inwood and Lindsay Kines (Ottawa Citizen) – The security force for the Vancouver Olympics is facing controversy after it emerged Friday that some of its police and military members have been sent home and accused of “unbecoming” conduct — including an allegation of shoplifting.
The Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit issued a statement Friday night saying an officer from Ottawa faces a count of theft under $5,000 from a retail store in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby.
That officer is Staff Sgt. Suzanne Denise Marie Martel, a 19-year RCMP veteran, who has been accused of shoplifting while off duty.
Martel has been relieved of her duties with the security unit, and sent back to her home unit in Ottawa, where her duty status will be reviewed. Crown counsel approved the charge against Martel on Wednesday. She is to appear in court in April.
News of the allegations against Martel followed a statement earlier in the day that Vancouver police are investigating two other incidents involving two security team members.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Mike Cote said that in total nearly a dozen ISU members have been sent home for various code of conduct and ethical violations, including four Canadian Forces members and seven police officers.
“The Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit and all ISU member agencies have set a zero tolerance standard for any behaviour that could be considered in direct conflict with each organization’s core values and code of ethics or Canada’s laws,” the security unit said in its news release.
Cote said offences could range from failing to show up for work on time to being drunk and disorderly.