I was contacted by the writer of the letter to the editor who had alleged racial profiling by an OBPD officer.
I’m grateful he called as it enabled us to look into this further. The incident took place at the corner of Foul Bay Road and Cadboro Bay Road. Although he was in Oak Bay at the time, we determined through reviewing video that this did not involve a member of Oak Bay PD.
We have contacted the appropriate police department to inform them and they are connecting with the male involved. We have also updated the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner.
The gentleman was apologetic for wrongly identifying OBPD but I assured him that no apology was necessary. It is not incumbent on a person to know what department a police officer is from and he had valid reason for believing it was OBPD. It would also be petty for me to be concerned about an innocent error when discussing a much more serious issue.
I have heard it suggested that he should have called us to complain. I would normally agree, however, that might not be the action one takes if they lack confidence in the police. Importantly, it is the police who are responsible for ensuring the public’s trust and confidence, not the public. Through my interactions with him on this issue, I hope we have started to build that trust.
Ray Bernoties, Chief Constable
Oak Bay Police Department