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Sudbury cop pleads guilty to careless driving, speeding, charges downgraded from impaired

Thomas Van Drunen will still be subject to a disciplinary hearing, with a date to be set in coming days
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(File)

A Greater Sudbury Police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to careless driving and speeding instead of being convicted of impaired driving charges.

Thomas Van Drunen, a fourth-class constable with Greater Sudbury Police Service, was issued a one-year probation order, which includes an ignition interlock on his personal vehicle, being prohibited from purchasing or consuming alcohol, a requirement to complete the province’s Back on Track program, as well as performing 150 hours of community service.

Van Drunen was charged with impaired driving on Nov. 13 when he was pulled over on Municipal Road 80 by another police officer. He was off duty at the time.

Van Drunen had been hired by GSPS in April, only about seven months before he was charged with impaired driving.

After he was arrested, Police Chief Paul Pedersen said he was “disheartened” by Van Drunen’s actions, but they do not reflect the Greater Sudbury Police Service’s values or missions.

“Each and every day, our members are committed to protecting and serving our community and keeping people safe,” said Pedersen. “Road safety is of the utmost importance. Members who fail to uphold our values and make the inexcusable decision to drive while impaired will be held accountable for their actions, without exception.”

Van Drunen will still be subject to a disciplinary hearing under the Police Services Act, however. That hearing was postponed to allow the matter to make its way through the court system.

Van Drunen began with the Greater Sudbury Police Service in April 2020. Under the Police Service Act of Ontario, Van Drunen has been suspended from duty with pay.

“As the court matter is now resolved, we await confirmation from the Crown’s office that the stay of proceedings has been lifted,” said GSPS spokesperson Kaitlyn Dunn in an email. “Once that has occurred the Police Services Act Tribunal will continue and a date will be set in the coming days.”