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Lethbridge police chief responds to officer misconduct

Last Updated Jul 14, 2020 at 11:42 am MDT

A Lethbridge police vehicle on scene of an incident in October, 2019. (CREDIT: Lethbridge Police Service)

LETHBRIDGE (660 NEWS) — After reports of two Lethbridge police officers being sanctioned for multiple misconduct violations, chief Scott Woods has released a statement.

The two officers surveilled former Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips after being upset over changes to restrict unregulated off-road vehicle use in the Castle Region.

RELATED: Former NDP minister wants investigation of Lethbridge officers over unauthorized surveillance

Woods said the officers’ actions cannot be excused and the Lethbridge Police Service (LPS) needs to acknowledge this reality, but it does not take away the embarrassment and shame brought upon the service, nor mitigate the anger and disappointment of MLA Shannon Phillips and the community.

The two officers have been sanctioned and are being held accountable for their actions.

Being that the information is now in the public domain they have more discretion to comment on the matters without violating any privacy requirements.

Woods said the matters were conducted in public hearings and posted on the LPS website, but were limited in what information they could release.

He continues to say police services “do not have clear authority to release the full details of discipline hearings and outcomes. In spite of the limitations, it has become our practice to post to our website outcome digests that summarize the acts of misconduct and the corresponding sanctions imposed on the officer which was done in this case.”

The Minister of Justice Doug Schweitzer has directed a review of this matter and as it is now under investigation with the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team.