News Local

Top RCMP cop in dark over transfer

By Byron Chu, QMI Agency Vancouver

The RCMP's top cop in B.C. says he wasn't given the complete details about the conduct of a disgraced Edmonton officer when he was first asked to accept Sgt. Donald Ray's transfer to the West Coast in October.

Speaking on CKNW radio Thursday morning, Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens said it wasn't until May that he was informed that Ray had been holding after-hours parties in his office, where he provided liquor and made sexual advances to female subordinates.

"I'm disappointed in myself for not asking more questions, and frankly, I should not have had to ask more questions," Callens said, adding he has now set up a screening system to avoid similar scenarios in future.

Callens said he could have cancelled the transfer in May, but he took into consideration that Ray is accepting his punishment, has already bought a home in B.C., and moved his wife and children.

"Really, wasn't it the organization that should be accountable for not having asked more, and not having taken different action?" Callens said.

Meanwhile, at a Surrey press conference Thursday, Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews defended the RCMP's application for a full primary liquor licence at its new E-Division headquarters in the municipality.

"How is this different in any way from the officers' mess in any of the headquarters of the RCMP stations or the military?" Toews asked. "This is not in any way a divergence from past practice, and it has not been identified as a problem."