HALIFAX – A Halifax police officer has been accused of voyeurism while on duty, a criminal allegation that has undermined public trust in the force, Police Chief Jean-Michel Blais said in a statement released late Wednesday.
“Any time a police officer is charged with a criminal offence, it is disconcerting, not just for our employees, but also the citizens and communities we serve,” Blais said.
Const. George Farmer was also charged with trespassing by night and breach of trust on Wednesday, following an investigation of an internal complaint involving several alleged victims.
The alleged crimes took place while the officer was on duty between Nov. 23 and Dec. 3 in the 700 block of the Bedford Highway in the Halifax suburb of Bedford, police said.
Supt. Jim Perrin told reporters an investigation was launched after a police employee came forward with a concern against Farmer in late July.
The officer has worked with Halifax Regional Police for 11 years, and represented the service in the 2017 Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo.
The patrol-division officer has been suspended with pay and is expected to appear in court Jan. 16.
“We can’t discuss the details of the offence, but I can confirm that as soon as we became aware of the matter, we initiated a thorough investigation,” Blais said in the statement.
Asked whether Farmer was with a partner at the time of the alleged offences, Perrin said no other officers are under investigation.
“Anyone that was witness to this offence, that’s part of the criminal investigation and I’m not going to get into (that) today,” he said.
Perrin said he didn’t expect further charges against Farmer.
“This is an isolated matter,” he said. “I think the public can take confidence in the fact of how responsive we are when we believe one of our officers has breached their ethical obligations.”