Pubdate: Thu, 09 May 2013
Source: Abbotsford Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 The Abbotsford Times
Author: Rochelle Baker
Bookmark: (Corruption - Outside U.S.)


An Abbotsford Police officer accused of helping a drug dealer avoid 
arrest has been criminally charged and suspended.

Const. Christopher Nicholson was charged with conspiracy to traffic 
drugs, had his badge seized and was suspended, according to 
statements made by Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich and Vancouver 
Police Chief Jim Chu at a press conference Tuesday morning.

In August, the Abbotsford force asked Vancouver Police Department to 
launch an investigation into Nicholson after two APD officers got 
information in July that Nicholson allegedly leaked information to a 
local suspect so he could escape arrest.

The VPD launched a covert operation in September that involved dozens 
of officers - some who were gang and homicide investigators - who 
believed Nicholson was feeding false information to fellow officers, 
who then used the information to obtain search warrants, said Chu.

Nicholson, a member of APD for seven years, also allegedly conspired 
with a confidential informant to have drugs delivered to a residence 
and have other police officers conduct a search warrant soon after.

In addition to conspiring to traffic drugs, Nicholson has also been 
charged with breach of trust and obstruction of justice.

Investigators hope to secure further charges, including those related 
to falsifying information for the justice system, against Nicholson 
in coming weeks, said Chu.

"Corrupt conduct is not acceptable to any of us in policing," he said.

Rich said the allegations against Nicholson violate an officer's oath 
of honesty and the breach of trust impacts the whole justice sys-tem 
as well as the safety of fellow officers.

"If the facts are proven to be true, it appears that not only did 
Christopher Nicholson mislead the justice system, but he also put the 
lives and reputations of other police officer at risk," said Rich.

It's not yet clear how far Nicholson's actions may have endangered 
the process of justice.

"The information that Christopher Nicholson has provided over the 
years has assisted in obtaining dozens of search warrants to 
residences of drug dealers and gang members," said Rich.

The Abbotsford Police board informed Nicholson it intends to enforce 
the suspension without pay as soon as legally possible, said Rich. 
While the officer faces his criminal charges, an expedited Police Act 
disciplinary process headed by Rich will get underway.

Nicholson is next scheduled to appear in Vancouver provincial court on June 18.
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