Lethbridge police officer suspended, being investigated by ASIRT over database search

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - Police in Alberta’s third-largest city have suspended another officer in relation to an alleged improper database search.

It’s the latest in a series of controversies that have plagued the Lethbridge Police Service and prompted the province’s justice minister to demand immediate changes in the department.

The latest incident occurred Feb. 5 when an officer is believed to have made the improper search.

The officer has been suspended with pay, an internal professional misconduct investigation has been ordered and the matter has been referred to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) for an investigation.

“Improper access of such information is taken very seriously by the Lethbridge Police Service,” officials said Monday in a news release.

“It was identified as an issue which needed to be addressed, and measures to prevent improper access of information were included in the action plan submitted to the Minister of Justice on April 13, 2021.”

A police spokesman said the latest occurrence is not related to earlier investigations involving Lethbridge NDP MLA Shannon Phillips.

Last year, two officers were temporarily demoted after a review determined Phillips, who was the environment minister in 2017, was surveilled and photographed at a diner. The officers involved were apparently concerned about changes Phillips was making regarding off-highway vehicle use at a nearby wilderness area.


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