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Police constable Andrew Vanderburgh - Hero

djfear

TRIBE Member
Toronto News: Rookie cop takes heat for arresting off-duty officer - thestar.com

It’s an impaired driving case like thousands of others except it involves a rookie Toronto police officer who crossed the thin blue line and paid the price.

Const. Andrew Vanderburgh was “harassed and berated” by fellow officers because on Nov. 28, 2009, he arrested and charged an off-duty police constable with impaired driving and having a blood-alcohol level over 80 milligrams, according to an internal police disciplinary ruling.

Some officers also allegedly called Vanderburgh a “rat,” Justice Paul Reinhardt wrote in a pre-trial ruling.

On Tuesday, Vanderburgh was in Old City Hall court to testify at Breton Berthiaume’s long-delayed impaired driving trial. He declined to comment except to say that while he does not regret charging a fellow officer, the fallout has been difficult.

Berthiaume, a Halton Region officer, has pleaded not guilty.

Also in court was Const. Suhail Khawaja, who accompanied Vanderburgh in his squad car the evening of the arrest.

That night, Vanderburgh and Khawaja went to Berthiaume’s home in High Park after a 911 caller reported seeing someone driving erratically on the Don Valley Parkway, and had recorded the licence plate number.

The officers took Berthiaume to neighbouring 22 Division, the closest station where a breath technician was present, and required him to give breath samples.

Some officers there “took exception to a police officer being charged or investigated,” Crown Attorney Mary-Anne Mackett told court Tuesday, providing an overview of the convoluted 2½-year-old case.

Reinhardt, who is no longer the judge in the Berthiaume case, said in his pre-trial ruling that disclosure he reviewed alleged Khawaja “refused to assist Constable Vanderburgh in the arrest and preparation of paperwork at 22 Division.”

“Constable Khawaja is purported to have stated on more than one occasion that evening to different informants that he wanted nothing to do with the arrest of a fellow police officer,” Reinhardt wrote.

Vanderburgh, meanwhile, continued to pay a price.

After Berthiaume was released, Vanderburgh drove a marked police vehicle back to his division and was followed by a 22 Division cruiser driven by Const. James Little.

Little pulled him over and gave him a ticket for allegedly disobeying a red light, which was later dismissed. Last year, Little pleaded guilty to one count of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act.

Little chose “to disregard his professional obligations and embark on a course of retaliatory action against a colleague performing his sworn, lawful duty,” Supt. Robin Breen wrote in his ruling.

“He abused his position to express his personal displeasure about his colleague’s arrest of an off-duty police officer.” Little was docked 20 days’ pay.

Two other officers, including a staff sergeant who failed to intervene, were disciplined in the incident. One was also docked 20 days’ pay, the other 15.

“Those penalties are at the upper end and reflect seriousness of what happened and demonstrate the determination of the service to hold people accountable in a meaningful way,” Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash said Tuesday.

Pugash said the names of the two other officers cannot be disclosed because they were dealt with at the divisional level. However, Reinhardt’s pre-trial ruling referred to incomplete police disclosure records of Khawaja’s “misconduct” on Nov. 28, 2009.

Berthiaume’s impaired driving trial, meanwhile, has been put over until Feb. 18 when he plans to represent himself after firing his lawyer. He remains on active duty with the Halton force.
I'm fairly neutral in my opinion of the police, but this guy's actions are what improves the public's trust of the police. Too bad he had to deal with so much shit... I'm of the opinion that he's a hero for standing up to the boys in blue concept of protecting your fellow police officer.
 

Fillmore

TRIBE Member
I agree that he did the right thing in making the arrest. If the officer was in fact drinking and driving, he should be charged plain and simple.

However, after working with many cops on ride alongs and interviews and such, this will never be forgotten and he will always be harassed for this. I wonder how long it will be before he requests a transfer out of toronto or leaves the force all together.
 

djfear

TRIBE Member
I agree that he did the right thing in making the arrest. If the officer was in fact drinking and driving, he should be charged plain and simple.

However, after working with many cops on ride alongs and interviews and such, this will never be forgotten and he will always be harassed for this. I wonder how long it will be before he requests a transfer out of toronto or leaves the force all together.
You think his career is over? What is the threshold for arresting a cop and not getting black listed by your fellow coworkers? Murder, theft, assault, rape?
 

Littlest Hobo

TRIBE Member
However, after working with many cops on ride alongs and interviews and such, this will never be forgotten and he will always be harassed for this. I wonder how long it will be before he requests a transfer out of toronto or leaves the force all together.
And cops wonder why they are held in increasingly low regard.
 
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Dirty Girl

TRIBE Member
dude should be made chief, and anyone that harasses him should be fired.
If i harassed someone at work I would be fired. and they should be too.
we need more cops like you Const. Andrew Vanderburgh and we the public stand behind you!! GO ANDREW!!! :D
 

Fillmore

TRIBE Member
Its pretty scary actually how they will tell you there is no blue line but it exists.
My guess is they will find a way to ruin this guys career. In the past I have heard stories of drugs being stashed in lockers and in homes and then confidential calls made to police about an officer whom smokes or sells confiscated drugs. This sounds much like a movie I know, but it happens and its sad.

My brother in law within his first year of policing was setting records for stopping drunk drivers in his detachment. It wasn't long before the rest of the detachment was making false claims about my bro in law being a druggy and cheating the system. Next thing you know he was transferred out to another detachment in another city.
 
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peko

TRIBE Member
However, after working with many cops on ride alongs and interviews and such, this will never be forgotten and he will always be harassed for this. I wonder how long it will be before he requests a transfer out of toronto or leaves the force all together.
Pretty sad mentality. (not you)
 

Fillmore

TRIBE Member
I agree 100% its sad. Its really the fault of these ridiculous officers who think they are above the law because they were given a badge to serve and protect.
 
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Dirty Girl

TRIBE Member
well thats fucking bullshit. these people should be fired.
a woman needs to be put in charge of this idiots.

do you know every single person that we have come thru our office looking for work, that is in the police foundations program at the college here, turns out to be a complete useless loser. there is always something wrong with them. im not exagerating either, not a single person associated with that program has been a decent employee and there has been a lot of them.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
so if the drunk cop ran a red light and killed someone that night, would they want to cover that up too? :rolleyes:
Even more. Their motto should be changed from "To Serve & Protect" to "Accountable to No One." It is really scary to think these kind of people are walking among us with guns.

Const. Andrew Vanderburgh should be commended for his actions. Being made chief is the reward he should get because the rot is all the way to the top, but perhaps when they finally make him switch careers he will find one where his honesty, diligence, and dedication will be appreciated.
 
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LikeASweet

TRIBE Member
the standards for becoming a cop are so low that anybody with half a brain can get through the testing to graduation.

in a job that involves the protection of people, that requires split second decision making in dangerous sitations, that involves making decisions that will impact peoples lives for the rest of their lives, you would think the police force would want the best people possible to deal with these responsibilities.

instead they place value in conforming to the "police code" and having this gang type of mentality - that comment by one officer calling Cons. Andrew a "rat" is sickening and reinforces this view about the police force. having known many cops personally this story is not untypical, ive heard sooo many stories about police driving impaired and getting away with it. shame that good cops like Vanderburgh will most likely get transfered, assigned to different duties or even axed because he was doing his job properly.
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
The rookie seems to have gotten raw deal from his fellow officers, but one thing that does concern me is :

That night, Vanderburgh and Khawaja went to Berthiaume’s home in High Park after a 911 caller reported seeing someone driving erratically on the Don Valley Parkway, and had recorded the licence plate number.

The officers took Berthiaume to neighbouring 22 Division, the closest station where a breath technician was present, and required him to give breath samples.
did he even have enough evidence to bring him to the station? Wouldn't they need some evidence that HE was behind the wheel?

If all they have was a 911 call identifying the plate I wouldn't be surprised if the accused cop beats the case.
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
well he had a report from a witness... probably sorted out who was driving and the fact that Berthiaume was a cop at the door when he answered - Berthiaume was probably going on the assumption that he would get off once Vanderburgh realized he was a fellow badge.
 

derek

TRIBE Member
at the end of it all the cops are really just like any other gang (in that any one memember speaking out against the gang is outcast), they just (ab)use the law better.

just like what's happeing with the RCMP right now. some people need to be fired and / or in jail.
 

octo

TRIBE Member
so if the drunk cop ran a red light and killed someone that night, would they want to cover that up too? :rolleyes:
well their first reaction would probably be to asses the possibility of covering it up.

most cops would never charge a fellow cop with drinking and driving. the "responsible" ones will escort the drunk cop home just to make sure they get home ok and don't get into trouble.
 
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Unfortunately Fillmore is absolutely right - this guy will always be looked upon as a snitch by his fellow officers and will probably not move much further up the ladder.

Sadly the police officers with the mentality of it's "us vs. them" that allow for the kind of cover up shit we read about in the papers and see on the news. The cops that perpetrate this kind of mentality will protect and cover another member up until where the shit can get back to them personally - then they'll abandon the person they're covering for. Or use it as leverage to their own personal advantage.
 

lobo

TRIBE Member
So couldn't this guy eventually work for Internal Affairs or whatever equivalent we have up here? Aren't they always hated by the regular cops anyways?

BTW, cheers to this guy for doing his actual job. Sucks that the rest of his "brothers in arms" don't see it that way.

Lobo
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
this shit has been going on since police started 200 years ago..

just wondering why it's an issue all of a sudden? someone went to the star..

just saying..
 
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