A nine-month ordeal for a Port Moody police officer detained in Cuba is over and Const. Jordan Long has returned home after being found not guilty of being an accessory to a sexual assault.
But an investigation into his conduct while on holiday in Varadero will be carried out along with that of Const. Mark Simms of the Vancouver Police Department, who was also detained but found not guilty in the case, a spokesperson from the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) has confirmed.
“When officers are investigated criminally, they can also be subject to a conduct review as well,” said Andrea Spindler, director of operations and strategic initiatives for the OPCC.
The investigation will be carried out under the Police Act and New Westminster Police Chief Const. Dave Jones will be the external discipline authority for both officers, according to the OPCC. It will be up to Jones, in consultation with the chiefs of the Port Moody and Vancouver police departments, to decide whether the officers will be assigned to regular duties or reassigned to some other function.
OPCC has confirmed that it has been in contact with the family of the 17-year-old girl from Ontario who made the allegation. “Efforts will be made to interview all witnesses who may have relevant evidence — that will include the complainant,” the OPCC stated.
Both the Port Moody and the Vancouver police departments requested an order to investigate the allegation of discreditable conduct in March. The OPCC has six months to conclude the investigation.
PMPD is not commenting on Long’s current status, saying it is a human resources matter, but in a statement to the media on the weekend said: “This has been an extremely difficult situation for all involved.”
In a press release Saturday as the men were returning to B.C., PMPD confirmed in a press release that it had learned Jan. 4 the prosecution’s appeal was rejected and the acquittal of the two officers was upheld, allowing Long to return home.
The return of Long and Simms brought jubilation to family members and supporters who noted on a Facebook post that the ordeal has taken a “terrible toll” but that they felt “profound gratitude” for all the support.
According to a Global News report, the family of the complainant stated it is not done with the issue yet and plans to take it up further with local authorities.