Toronto, Canada – It happened back in November 2009 when a rookie Toronto Police officer was on patrol and found an erratic driver and brought him back to the station and prepared a breath analysis, but the accused driver was an off-duty Halton Regional Police officer. As reported today in the Toronto Star, What message does this send?
The alleged drunk driver turned out to be Breton Berthiaume a Halton Regional officer and is still working. The Toronto Police officer who charged him with impaired driving and having a blood-alcohol level over 80 milligrams was constable Andrew Vanderburgh, who has been ridiculed by other officers in the Toronto Police Service, for doing such a thing.
Is this what we can expect at R.I.D.E. spot checks, when police in the GTA pull over random cars to see if anyone has been drinking. This is an ‘OUTRAGE’ that it appears some police think that other officers, should be exempt from driving drunk.
Not a chance, anyone who has been drinking/driving, should, and must be charged, no matter who they are.
Officer Andrew Vanderburgh did the right thing, he hadn’t been on the force long enough to know, what he should have done.
It’s necessary that all Police Chiefs/Police Associations everywhere step forward, and make it clear that this conduct, is in no way the practice of any police force, and no-one is exempt from drinking and driving, at anytime.
Can we expect that to happen?
Even after Berthiaume was charged and arrested an officer at 22 Division in Toronto was so outraged at Vanderburgh, that he followed him when he finished his paperwork on Berthiaume, and in a marked police vehicle pulled Vanderburgh over and charged him with running a red light. Charges were later dismissed and Const. James Little was given disciplinary action of 20 days’ pay.
Little chose “to disregard his professional obligations and embark on a course of retaliatory action against a colleague performing his sworn, lawful duty,” said Supt. Robin Breen.
“He abused his position to express his personal displeasure about his colleague’s arrest of an off-duty police officer.”
We all better watch this one, as we watch the pending charges coming forward for the actions of the Toronto Police Service during the G20 debacle, two years ago.