Of­fi­cer charged with ob­struc­tion

24-year EPS vet­eran ac­cused of il­le­gally in­flu­enc­ing a fam­ily court pro­ceed­ing

Edmonton Journal - - CITY - CATHER­INE GRIWKOWSKY cgri­wkowsky@post­media.com

A city po­lice sergeant with 24 years of ex­pe­ri­ence is fac­ing ob­struc­tion of jus­tice charges in re­la­tion to his in­volve­ment in fam­ily court pro­ceed­ings in Ed­mon­ton in 2016, the prov­ince’s po­lice watch­dog said.

Sgt. Kevin Fald was ar­rested Wed­nes­day by the Al­berta Se­ri­ous In­ci­dent Re­sponse Team (ASIRT) and charged with two counts of ob­struc­tion of jus­tice and two counts of unau­tho­rized use of a com­puter.

The Ed­mon­ton Po­lice Ser­vice (EPS) started an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion in Septem­ber 2016, and no­ti­fied Al­berta Jus­tice and So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral depart­ment’s di­rec­tor of law en­force­ment on Feb. 16, 2017, when it be­came clear crim­i­nal of­fences may have been com­mit­ted.

“The EPS and our com­mu­nity right­fully hold our po­lice of­fi­cers to the high­est stan­dards. Any vi­o­la­tion of these stan­dards is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able,” po­lice Chief Rod Knecht said Wed­nes­day.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors al­lege Fald mis­rep­re­sented the sta­tus of a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion, “lead­ing to the im­po­si­tion of a pro­tec­tion or­der against one of the par­ties.”

Fald was not in­volved in the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion in any of­fi­cial ca­pac­ity, ASIRT said.

Fald then al­legedly at­tempted to ob­struct an Ed­mon­ton po­lice pro­fes­sional stan­dards in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his con­duct and al­legedly ac­cessed two po­lice in­for­ma­tion data­bases in the course of com­mit­ting the of­fences, ASIRT said.

Po­lice have re­moved Fald from duty with­out pay pend­ing the out­come of the crim­i­nal charges and pro­ceed­ings.

ASIRT ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Sue Hugh­son said it’s un­com­mon for the watch­dog group to lay crim­i­nal charges against of­fi­cers, and that in most cases, ASIRT finds of­fi­cers were act­ing law­fully and prop­erly within the course of their du­ties.

Hugh­son said Wed­nes­day since the mat­ter is be­fore the courts, she would not be elab­o­rat­ing on details.

“We also have to re­mem­ber there is a fam­ily at the cen­tre of this with a child in­volved, so I’m not go­ing to get into the cir­cum­stances of this,” Hugh­son said.

The court pro­ceed­ings in­volved an emer­gency pro­tec­tion or­der, Hugh­son said.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Fald was lengthy be­cause it in­volved an unco-op­er­a­tive wit­ness, she said.

Fald re­cently worked on Pro­ject Watch, as well as the in­ter­net Child Ex­ploita­tion Unit with the Al­berta Law En­force­ment Re­sponse Teams.

Fald was re­leased on an un­der­tak­ing with con­di­tions to ap­pear in provin­cial court March 16.

IAN KUCERAK

Sgt. Kevin Fald — shown here in 2013 — faces charges of ob­struc­tion of jus­tice and unau­tho­rized use of a com­puter in con­nec­tion with his in­volve­ment in a 2016 fam­ily court case.

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