A Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) police officer is facing charges of resisting a peace officer, trespassing and the possibility of Ontario Police Act charges as the result of an incident that occurred in Espanola on the weekend.
GSPS said the allegations against the officer are from an incident that could be "dishonourable and discouraging."
Ontario Provincial Police said that on Sunday, Sept. 26 Manitoulin detachment officers responded to a call at the Espanola Recreational Centre for a complaint of individuals who were alleged to be trespassing.
Police said the individuals had been on the property earlier in the day and had been requested to leave. Police said the individuals had returned to the public arena a short time later.
The OPP said Melisa Rancourt, 47, of Espanola was arrested and is charged with resisting a peace officer, and entering a premises when entry has been prohibited, contrary to the Trespass to Property Act (TPA).
Rancourt is a Sudbury police officer, as confirmed to Sudbury.com by GSPS on Tuesday in a statement reacting to the officer's arrest. Police Chief Paul Pedersen said while the actions haven’t been proven, the allegations, if true, are “dishonourable and discouraging.”
“The Greater Sudbury Police Service is committed to policing with excellence and professionalism and the actions of this Officer do not reflect our core values,” Pedersen said. “Our members have sworn an oath to uphold the law according to any act, any regulation, rule or by-law. Although these accusations have not yet been proven in a court of law, the alleged actions of this officer during this incident are dishonourable and discouraging.
“Members who fail to uphold the law will be held accountable for their actions and will be subject to the same judicial process as those we serve.”
In addition to the chief's statement, GSPS said that in accordance with the Police Services Act of Ontario, Rancourt has been assigned to administrative duties. The incident has also been forwarded to the Professional Standards Bureau for further investigation. An investigation has been initiated for breaches against the Police Services Act, said GSPS.