Chatham-Kent officer pleads guilty to neglect of duty and discreditable conduct
Published Thursday, December 31, 2020 1:54PM EST
The Chatham-Kent police crest is seen on a uniform in Chatham, Ont. (Chris Campbell / CTV Windsor)
WINDSOR, ONT. --
Chatham-Kent police say an officer has pleaded guilty to Police Service Act charges for separate instances of taking a firearm home without permission and threatening his wife.
Const. Darcy Lunn plead guilty to one count of neglect of duty and three counts of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act on Dec. 15. The hearing took place via teleconference.
Police say the charges were in connection to alleged off-duty conduct that occurred as far back as 2009, but not reported until the fall of 2019.
Once reported, the OPP conducted an investigation that resulted in criminal charges.
In May, Lunn plead guilty to assault and uttering threats, which resulted in a disposition of a suspended sentence and three years of probation.
Upon completion of the criminal case, the Chatham-Kent Police Service Professional Standards Branch conducted a Police Services Act investigation, resulting in the following charges:
Neglect of Duty:
1) Between the dates of 2009-2010, Constable Lunn brought his service issued firearm home without permission from the Chief of Police.
1) Between the dates of 2009-2010, Constable Lunn brought his service issued firearm home without proper paperwork.
2) In 2015, Constable Lunn threatened to strike his wife and pushed her against the wall.
3) In 2015, Constable Lunn called his wife at work and threatened to harm her.
Hearing officer Terence Kelly, Deputy Chief of the York Regional Police (retired), imposed a penalty of demotion from first class constable to the rank of fourth class constable for six months, third class constable for six months, and second class constable for six months.
“The conduct of Constable Darcy Lunn in these matters is completely at variance with the standards expected of members of the Chatham-Kent Police Service,” said Kelly. “If not for the guilty plea; the officer’s recognition of his misconduct and his desire to rehabilitate his reputation with management, I would consider a greater penalty.”
Chatham-Kent police Chief Gary Conn said it is “an unfortunate and disturbing set of circumstances” surrounding Constable Lunn.
“Any police officer is expected to uphold higher standards of conduct in both their professional and personal lives,” said Conn. “The public is entitled to have this higher expectation of its police officers and as a result, it must be maintained in order to assure public trust and confidence. In this regard, we have a process for disciplinary issues governed by the Ontario Police Services Act and this process has transpired within those parameters.”
Conn said he “respects the hearing officer’s decision and penalty imposed given that he is the Trier-of-fact, having to take into consideration and weigh all the aggravating and mitigating factors associated to this matter.”
Conn added they will continue to hold their members responsible for their actions.
Lunn has since been reinstated from suspension and assigned to the Community Patrol Branch.