A former Fort Good Hope RCMP officer booted from the community earlier this month following revelations about a past sexual assault conviction remains on the force, a police spokesperson tells NNSL Media.
Last week, CBC North reported that Const. Randy McKay was asked to leave the small Sahtu community after residents learned he had pleaded guilty to sexual assault in 2015 while employed by the RCMP in Buffalo Narrows, Sask.
McKay was sentenced to a conditional discharge — a year-long probation period with no jail time.
Last summer, he was stationed in Fort Good Hope.
Recently, a printout copy of a 2016 story from the CBC detailing McKay’s conviction and sentence was posted to a bulletin board at a community store, sparking calls for the officer to be removed from his post.
That happened on May 16.
“The RCMP has afforded leave for the member. He is still employed by NT RCMP, (but) for privacy concerns, his location while on leave will not be disclosed,” spokesperson Marie York-Condon told NNSL Media in an email.
“The RCMP respects the privacy of any individual who has paid their debt to society through the judicial process and will not comment on a question specific to their past,” she wrote.
Asked about if and how RCMP members are allowed to keep their jobs following criminal convictions, York-Condon said “after being convicted (of) a crime, generally speaking, a police officer is subject to a full review of the circumstances that have occurred.
In some cases, police officers continue with their role.”
According to York-Condon, reviews are conducted by senior RCMP officers, leading to a “range of outcomes,” depending on the circumstances of the conviction.
“This process is comprehensive. Each case is different depending on circumstances that have occurred,” wrote York-Condon.
Relationship with RCMP shaken but not broken, says chief
When news of McKay’s departure from the community first broke, Chief Danny Masuzumi told CBC North that the relationship between the RCMP and the community had been damaged.
On Friday, in an interview with Masuzumi, the community chief said relations are being mended following an apology from RCMP Insp. Dyson Smith.
“He apologized and said this is kind of disappointing and embarrassing; that this should have never happened,” said Masuzumi.
“At the end of the day we just have to move on and change (some of the policies) in terms of how (RCMP) dispatches their members,” he added.
Masuzumi said it’s up to the RCMP to decide whether or not McKay stays onboard with the force, but he wants police to adopt more stringent measures and background checks for Mounties entering communities.
He credits community members for bringing the issue to light.
“I’m glad the community stepped up and took the initiative to point out that there was a concern in the community,” he said.
Masuzumi said he remains committed to working with the RCMP — communicating and sharing concerns.
The force stated the same.
“The detachment commander and district officer are speaking with the community leadership, and that discussion will form part of the next steps,” stated York-Condon.
“The detachment commander is in the best position to build and maintain trust within the Detachment jurisdiction. That relationship building will continue.”