RNC Supt. Brian Dowden says although employees — civilians and officers alike — take an oath, there can be breaches of that obligation.
“You have to place a certain degree of trust in your employees,” Dowden said. “The employees take an oath of confidentiality, or in the case of a police officer they are actually sworn to an oath.”
The head of the RNC’s western Newfoundland division assured the public of such after a civilian employee who worked as support staff was charged with releasing information about the identity of targets of a drug investigation.
“We expect our employees to live up to that oath that they take,” Dowden said. “When they fail to do that, we take the appropriate action.”
During a news conference at the headquarters in Corner Brook Wednesday, Dowden said the public should not waver in its trust of the department due to charges against Angela Marie McCarthy, 31.
The allegations against the Benoit’s Cove woman are from August of last year. The RNC’s investigation — Operation Backstop — resulted in the arrest of two Benoit’s Cove men, Terrence Gallant and Bruce Hickey, and two Ontario men, Jean-Paul Mandoux and Andre Seguin.
McCarthy, who no longer works at the RNC, was charged with obstruction of justice. She made her first appearance in provincial court in Corner Brook Tuesday. The matter was set over until July 8.
Dowden said many of the details of the manner to which the employee released the information and how police discovered it is evidence before the court.
He said the information was obtained through the course of her regular employment and police learned of the breach independent of the drug investigation.
According to court documents, McCarthy released the information between Aug. 9-20, 2013.
Dowden said his role is to ensure the protection of privacy within the RNC, thus deemed the alleged crime as a serious one. He said the appropriate actions were taken internally and criminally.
“I can’t stress enough that we take the protection of privacy and confidentiality of our information very seriously, and we take great emphasis and great strides in protecting it,” he said.
The Corner Brook division has 10 civilian staff, and Dowden said the allegations do not raise any doubt in the system of employing such individuals. He said he places the same level of trust in his civilian staff as in his police officers.
The Western Star