Friday, December 1, 2023

Final LPS “meme” disciplinary hearing leads to officer dismissal

The fifth and final Lethbridge Police Service officer involved in the investigation surrounding the creation and distribution of profane, abusive and insulting memes, has now been collectively concluded has been disciplined.

The unnamed officer, according to officials, was issued a global sanction following a disciplinary hearing Monday, which sees them dismissed from the service. The officer has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Law Enforcement Review Board. The investigation follows an incident in 2018, in which a private chat group comprised of a small number of LPS officers was created in a messaging app and texts and memes were shared.

Since the investigation began, two constables pleaded guilty to two counts of discreditable conduct and one count each of insubordination and neglect of duty. Both received a year long, two rank demotion. While two other constables resigned from the service prior to entering a plea.

Lethbridge Police Service Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh says he is deeply saddened by the actions by the officers involved, and apologizes to the public for the actions of so few impacting so many.

” The Lethbridge Police Service is disheartened by the actions of these five officers and the dishonor, embarrassment and erosion of the public’s trust they caused, as well as the harm to our own employees and others who were among those targeted in the meme,” he says in a statement. “Their behaviour does not reflect the values of our Police Service and our commitment to the community.”

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