Delta Police Department
|Delta Police Department|
|Badge of the DPD|
|Motto||Honour, Integrity, Courage, Trust|
|Formed||July 7, 1888|
|Annual budget||25 million+ CDN|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||District municipality of Delta in the province of British Columbia, Canada|
|Governing body||Delta Police Board|
|Constituting instrument||BC Police Act|
|Headquarters||4455 Clarence Taylor Crescent|
|Elected officers responsible|
|Agency executive||Jim Cessford, Chief Constable|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The Delta Police Department (DPD) is the police force for the district municipality of Delta, British Columbia, a suburban community in Metro Vancouver with a population of 102,661. In 2008, Delta Police had 166 sworn members and 65 civilian support staff and an operating budget of $25,921,000.
In 2007, DPD became responsible for policing the Tsawwassen First Nation through an agreement between the nation and the provincial and federal government. Under the Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement Act, the first nation does not have the power to establish a police force on their own, but are able to do so by requesting the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. The nation chose to employ the DPD in enforcing its laws. The department has been dogged by controversy in recent years.
The history of the Delta Police Department is closely tied to the first organized policing presence in British Columbia’s history.
It was in 1858 that Governor James Douglas appointed William Ladner as the first Constable of New Caledonia. William Ladner later went on to found the community of Ladner’s Landing, which became the hub of the Municipality of Delta, British Columbia on November 10, 1879.
On August 20, 1887 William McKee, the Municipal Clerk, was designated as a Constable in addition to his duties as a Clerk. On July 7, 1888, Joseph Jordan was appointed as Delta’s first full time constable, and with this appointment the Delta Municipal Police Department was formed. Over the next eight years Joseph Jordan was dismissed and re-appointed several times, depending on the department’s needs and was assisted on occasion by other temporary Constables.
By 1900, Joseph Jordan had been designated as the Chief Constable and worked full time in this role until his retirement in 1911.
The Chief Constable’s position remained the only regular full-time or part-time position until 1931, when the municipal council authorized the appointment of a night policeman. It was the duty of this policeman, whose salary was partly paid for by the local merchants, to patrol the streets of Ladner at night.
The 1950s was a decade of growth for the Delta Police Department. Membership increased to 11 police officers, and the police station began operating on a 24-hour-a-day basis.
By 1971 the police department had grown to 45 police officers, due to the growth in community population after the opening of the George Massey Tunnel.
In 1979 24 Delta police officers (26% of the force) were placed under investigation for illegal strip searches and detention of citizens. The force was placed under the command of the New Westminster Police Chief while an inquiry was held by a provincial judge.
On January 21, 2009, three off duty police officers were arrested and detained overnight after being alleged to racially abuse, assault and participated in a robbery in downtown Vancouver against Firoz Khan, a newspaper deliveryman. The police constables came from the Delta Police Department, West Vancouver Police Department and New Westminster Police Service. On January 26, 2009, the Vancouver Police Department cleared the Delta police officer of any wrongdoing and in a news conference, said he tried to intervene to stop the alleged attack but the other two officers were recommended to Crown Counsel for criminal charges to be laid. On February 27, 2009, Crown Counsel announced the DPD officer offered new information and was willing to testify against the other two officers, which lead to an additional charge laid against Cst. Jeffrey Roger Klassen of NWPS.
Over a six year period an officer in the Department made promises to a stock market fraud suspect he was investigating and associated with them despite direction from his superiors.
Between January 2007 and April 2010 a Delta Police Officer harassed and inappropriately touched a female waitress at a local restaurant.
A Canadian Revenue Agency official was threatening spoken to by an officer in 2008.
Other substantiated incidents investigated in 2011 included playing pranks with drug evidence, entering residences without warrants, aiding other members misconduct, using unnecessary force on members of the public, and misuse of police vehicle.
In 2012 a lawsuit was launched and investigation by under the "Police Act" commenced regarding the alleged corrupt conduct and sexual assaults committed by Const. Robert Johnston of the Delta Police Department. Const. Johnston was alleged to have committed a number of acts including sexual assault, improper use of police uniform and resources and unauthorized access to police databases. Ms. Tori Jones claimed Mr. Johnston sexually assaulted her a number of times at various locations in Delta and surrounding areas - using police resources to impress or intimidate her. Mr. Johnston was eventually fired. The lawsuit remains pending.
A hearing was ordered in August 2013 to examine the conduct of two Delta police officers while they apprehended a suspect riding a bicycle. It is alleged that in 2011 Const. Aaron Hill and Const. Aaron McRae tackled a cyclist and repeatedly smashed his head into the pavement while taking him into custody.
Two officers engaged in discriminatory practices when providing services at the Stanley Cup NHL Game in Vancouver in 2011.
Six Delta Police Officers were storing and consuming alcohol in police stations while on duty in 2012.
An officer lied and was deceitful in an impaired driving investigation in 2010. Video evidence contradicted the Delta Police Report into the incident 
In 2012 there were 79 complaints made to the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner regarding the Delta Police.
On October 20, 2014, Crown prosecutors charged Delta Police Officer Jordan MacWilliams with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 47-year-old Merhdad Bayrami. Bayrami was fatally wounded after a five-hour stand-off outside the Starlight Casino in New Westminster, on November 7, 2012. MacWilliams was a member of the now disbanded Municipal Emergency Response Team, of which the Delta Police was a member. This team was composed of Port Moody, Abbotsford, New Westminster and Delta police officers and was attending the Starlight Casino to deal with a distraught and possibly suicidal Bayrami, who initially fired shots before police arrived and then pointed a firearm towards his head while inside a vehicle. Bayrami was allegedly hit with less-lethal projectiles, and then shot with MacWilliams' rifle. MacWilliams was the first law enforcement officer in British Columbia to be criminally charged for an on-duty death since 1975.
On duty deaths
On November 2, 1974 Staff Sergeant Ron McKay was shot and killed by Elery Long. This incident occurred when Staff Sergeant McKay attended Long’s residence to speak to him regarding a confrontation that occurred earlier in the day at a local gas station. On May 27, 1975 Long was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. On July 14, 1976 Long’s death sentence, along with the death sentences of ten other people convicted of murdering peace officers, were converted to life sentences. In 2002 Elery Long was granted full parole which has since been revoked following repeated contacts with police.
On April 8, 2000 Constable Mark Nieuwenhuis was killed in a tragic police motorcycle accident. The investigation revealed that Constable Nieuwenhuis was attempting to stop a vehicle at the time of the accident. A suspect has never been officially named.
- Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia
- E-Comm, 9-1-1 call and dispatch centre for Southwestern BC
- DPD History
- Community Police Stations
- Tsawwassen First Nation
- Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement Act
- Delta Police Probe 'Wish-Washy'
- Vancouver police officers face robbery, assault charges
- New Westminster cop faces new charge following downtown attack
- Probe begins for cop cleared of criminal wrongdoing
- Delta police officer charged with murder after 2012 Starlight Casino standoff, Vancouver Sun, October 20, 2014.