Harassment: A police officer has been tracking his ex through police computers for years

Harassment: A police officer has been tracking his ex through police computers for years

For five years, a senior BC police officer used police resources to track down, spy on and conduct at least 92 searches on his ex-girlfriend and her family, according to documents released Friday by CTV News.

An investigation into the misconduct of Staff Sergeant Andrew Walsh, then chief of the Saanich Police Department’s detective division, began in April 2021 after a woman with whom he had a romantic relationship reported to the Provincial Police Complaints Officer’s office.

TB, the woman, whose identity is not being released, filed a complaint after Mr Walsh showed up “in uniform and out of jurisdiction” at her home, where he had never been before, almost four years after their relationship ended , as determined by direct authority.

“It was absolutely shocking to me,” TB said, adding that she moved in 2020 and was relieved to live in a place Sergeant Walsh didn’t know where she lived.

The next day she contacted the Saanich Police Department, where she had worked for 30 years. One of his main concerns was that Andrew Walsh had used police databases to obtain information about him. Shortly thereafter, she filed a complaint.

The 2021 incident, the inquiry said, was just one example of what Mr Walsh described as “extremely serious misconduct” after his relationship with TB ended in 2017.

The investigation found that Mr Walsh had actually used a database at least 92 times to obtain information about TB and 13 of his family members. During his tenure, he conducted at least 61 searches. Those wanted included TB’s children, mother, siblings and nieces. This included her ex-husband, her current partner and her late father.

“Staff Sergeant Walsh showed intermittent and unwelcome communications with Ms B between 2017 and 2021, despite her numerous attempts to have him arrested. His actions go beyond passive contact and are instead active and overt steps that have been ruled as harassment or harassment in similar police investigations,” the inquiry concluded.

The appropriate sanction, law enforcement said, would be to fire Sergeant Walsh.

“Anything short of termination would bring disrepute to the administration of police discipline and be contrary to the public interest,” the documents said.

However, Walsh was never fired. He withdrew before the investigation was complete.

In October 2017, about three months after the relationship ended, TB retired from her position with the Saanich Police Department, where she had served for 30 years.