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British Columbia

Public hearing for VPD sergeant accused of sexual misconduct by officers and students

VICTORIA — The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner in British Columbia has called its first ever public hearing into allegations of sexualized misconduct against a Vancouver police officer who has also been an instructor at several post-secondary institutions.

The office says the allegations against Sgt. Keiron McConnell relate to his conduct toward seven women, including police officers and former students when he was an instructor at Royal Roads and Kwantlen Polytechnic universities.

It says in a statement the commissioner determined that the nature of the allegations merit the office’s first public hearing following legislative changes that cleared the path for such an inquiry earlier in the police discipline process.

The office says the commissioner noted that using a power imbalance for a sexual purpose not only harms those directly affected, but also negatively impacts the integrity of policing and the public’s confidence in police.

It says the allegations against McConnell, a Vancouver police officer for 33 years, have not been proven.

The office says it has appointed retired provincial court judge Carol Baird Ellan to preside as adjudicator in the proceedings and determine whether McConnell committed misconduct.

The hearing dates have not yet been confirmed.

McConnell did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2024.

The Canadian Press