Chief Neufeld statement in relation to Councillor Sean Chu
The following statement is being shared on behalf of Chief Constable Mark Neufeld in relation to Councillor Sean Chu.
When I became aware of these serious allegations in the media, I like most members of our community, felt shocked and concerned. This was the first time I learned of the incident. Given the severity of the allegations, we immediately started to gather as much information as possible to determine what took place. This took some time, given the complexity of the file, and the fact that some of the documentation was archived. I have now reviewed what I have available to me.
Based on what I know at this time, I can say that the allegations were taken seriously and followed the process that was in place at that time. This in no way absolves Mr. Chu of the deep disappointment his actions hold.
In relation to incidents in 1997 involving a minor, a criminal investigation was conducted by experts in the sex crimes unit and was passed to an external crown who determined charges were not recommended. Given the accused was a police officer, he was also subject to further investigation under the Police Act and was found guilty of discreditable conduct. This was followed by reviews by external oversight including the Law Enforcement Review Board and the Alberta Court of Appeal. As our citizen oversight body, the Calgary Police Commission was also apprised of this incident at the time. The CPS has not had any involvement in court proceedings or investigations on this matter since 2007.
A subsequent incident took place in February 2008, when Mr. Chu was on a personal unpaid leave from the Calgary Police Service. The incident was investigated, and given the sensitivities involved, we engaged the Crown in Edmonton and no charges were laid.
I want to be clear; since this incident occurred our processes have evolved. If this were to happen today, the province would be notified via the Director of Law Enforcement. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team would then take on an independent investigation.
As a Service we are committed to accountability and transparency. We know moments like this create questions from the public, as they should. That is why I have already made significant moves to enhance our processes and our reporting in relation to internal investigations and will continue to push for more. Our Community Accountability web page is one of these efforts. We are also advocating for changes to the Police Act and are fully supportive of there being an independent body that takes on all investigations involving police officers.
We fully understand the significant impact sexual assault can have on a victim. As such, we take a victim focused and trauma informed approach while offering all the available supports to them through the entire process. To be clear, as a Service, we do not condone sexual violence in any form and take these matters extremely seriously.