Pubdate: Tue, 30 May 2017
Source: Sudbury Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Osprey Media
Author: Jeff Beamish
Page: A1


Frank Elsner, a former top cop in Sudbury who resigned earlier this
month as Victoria police chief, has launched a cannabis consulting

Elsner, who is facing six misconduct allegations from his time with
the Victoria department, is now the principal consultant for UMBRA
Strategic Solutions, which will provide security consulting to
marijuana businesses, according to a post on his Linked In profile.

A message signed by Elsner on the company's website says: "After a
great career in policing I started Umbra Strategic Solutions. I wanted
to do something that I am passionate about while utilizing my
knowledge, skills and abilities." Elsner writes that he has "come a
long way" in his thinking about harm reduction, community wellness and
the role police play.

"I fully support the legalization of cannabis in our country. The new
laws that are about to be enacted in Canada will create their own set
of challenges for communities, and I want to be part of the solution
that makes the industry safe, healthy and secure for all citizens."

Umbra comes from the Latin word for security.

In his Linked In profile, Elsner writes that "trusted voices are
needed in the cannabis industry to support legitimate individuals and
companies so the general public feels confident that the industry is
operating within the legislation, is safe, and is free from organized

In the early days of his policing career, Elsner had a first-hand look
at the way organized crime moves drugs when he posed as a drug dealer
to infiltrate gangs and bikers in Ontario. He told the Times Colonist
newspaper in January 2014, two weeks after he took over his role at
Victoria police, that during his undercover days, he occasionally
smoked marijuana in order to blend in with gang members.

Elsner's new venture comes days after the Victoria and Esquimalt
police board announced that Elsner no longer considers himself an
employee of the police department.

Victoria mayor Lisa Helps told the Times Colonist that she takes that
to mean Elsner had resigned, although the letter sent from his lawyer
does not expressly say that.

Helps said she believes Elsner is taking the position that the board
hasn't adequately covered his legal fees.

The saga started in August 2015, when Helps and Esquimalt Mayor Barb
Desjardins, the co-chairs of the police board, received information
that Elsner had exchanged inappropriate Twitter messages with a
Saanich police officer who was the wife of one of Elsner's officers.
The allegations were made public in December 2015.

An internal discipline investigation resulted in a letter of reprimand
being placed on his file.

Elsner publicly apologized for sending the Twitter messages and said
he was "deeply humiliated."

However, the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner ordered a new
investigation, sparking a legal battle between the police board and
the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.

Elsner was suspended with pay in April 2016. Since then, there have
been legal challenges involving Elsner, the OPCC and the Victoria
police board.

In April, Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson threw out an
investigation into the Twitter messages, along with allegations that
Elsner sent the messages while on duty.

Elsner is still facing two separate disciplinary hearings on
allegations that he provided misleading information to the subordinate
officer and an independent investigator, and that he attempted to
procure a false statement from a witness, along with allegations of
workplace harassment.

Both hearings will go forward despite Elsner's resignation, since the
Police Act states that an officer's resignation does not halt the
disciplinary process.
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