THE New Westminster Police Department on Wednesday confirmed that one of its members has been arrested and charged with a criminal offence.
Constable Sukhwinder (Vinnie) Dosanjh was arrested on Tuesday by members of the Victoria Police Department after an investigation into an incident alleged to have happened in Victoria in 2005.
Dosanjh is now facing one count of sexual assault in relation to this allegation. He was released on bail and next appears in Victoria Provincial Court on August 17 at 2 p.m.
While this incident is alleged to have occurred in an off-duty capacity, the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner was advised of the allegation early in the investigation and has been monitoring the case since that time. Now that criminal charges have been approved, Dosanjh will also be subject to a parallel Police Act investigation. Dosanjh was suspended from duty upon his release from custody and the NWPD Police Board has taken the additional step of notifying Dosanjh they will be considering the conditions of his suspension from duty and the provisions of an unpaid suspension.
As the Disciplinary Authority on the Police Act matters, Chief Constable Dave Jones was unable to make comment.
Deputy Chief Constable Dave Jansen did have the following to say: “This is always concerning when a police officer is accused of a criminal offence, especially one as serious as this. The New Westminster Police is committed to maintaining public trust and accountability and within the bounds of what due process allows, we will be as transparent on this process as we can. In spite of this allegation against one of our members, the women and men of this Department remain committed to providing professional service to the members of this community.”
Due to the ongoing nature of these proceedings, the NWPD said they will not be able to provide further comment at this time.
BACK in 2008, Dosanjh was suspended after being charged with assault and being unlawfully in a dwelling house from an incident at the home of another New Westminster officer.
Dosanjh’s rank was reduced to second-class constable for 15 months after an investigation into his conduct under the Police Act. He was ordered to work under close supervision for that period of time. Also, he was ordered to undergo retraining and psychological counselling.
Criminal charges were dropped against Dosanjh, but the judge issued a common law peace bond. Dosanjh was ordered to report to a probation officer, have no contact with the woman he was accused of assaulting and possess no weapons, except through his work on the force, according to New Westminster Record in 2012.
BEFORE all his legal troubles began, Dosanjh had received an Award of Excellence from the Canadian Police Association in 2007.
The citation read:
Shortly after midnight on October 13, 2006, Constable Vinnie Dosanjh, a three year member of the New Westminster Police Department and his partner overheard a radio transmission indicating police officers working in nearby jurisdiction had just broken off the ground portion of a vehicle pursuit.
Despite the fact that the ground pursuit had ended, reports from the regional helicopter indicated that the suspect was still driving in a reckless fashion and was seen travelling westbound at a high rate in the eastbound HOV lane of Highway 1.
Monitoring the regional radio channel, Constable Dosanjh and his partner learned the suspect vehicle had left the highway and was travelling through Burnaby in the direction of New Westminster.
The investigation of a drive-by shooting, which had just occurred in Burnaby, meant no Burnaby units were able to assist air support. As a result, Constable Dosanjh drove towards the area where the vehicle was last seen.
After the car pulled into a gas station lot, Constable Dosanjh pulled in behind the vehicle. Arriving at the same time, an unmarked canine unit blocked it from the front. The suspect gunned the engine and rammed into the canine car. As the suspect backed up to ram the vehicle again, the canine officer was able to escape leaving the dog inside. The suspect continued to try and ram his way out.
Realizing that the suspect had to be stopped from leaving the lot, Constable Dosanjh approached the suspect vehicle on the driver’s side. He smashed the window and was planning to Taser the suspect when he noticed the suspect was holding a gun.
Constable Dosanjh drew his own weapon and as the suspect pointed his gun at Constable Dosanjh’s partner, the officer fired into the vehicle striking the suspect. A passenger in the vehicle was unharmed. The suspect, who had a history of violence directed at police, died enroute to hospital.
Constable Dosanjh’s quick action and willingness to place himself in danger to protect others places him at the top of our profession.