A Kelowna Mountie was transferred, fined and put under “close supervision” after pointing her firearm at another officer out of frustration over his incessant teasing.
An RCMP conduct board decision rendered in July 2020 found Const. Kristine Roesler behaved in a manner likely to discredit the force, contrary to the RCMP’s Code of Conduct.
According to that decision, on March 6, 2019, Roesler was completing paperwork in her cubicle, frustrated that her supervisor asked her to make some corrections. Const. Kevin Hess began teasing Roesler, jokingly making comments about her work and pretending to be her supervisor.
Roesler asked Hess to stop, telling him she was “not in the mood.” Despite her request, Hess continued his “good-natured” razzing.
According to the decision, it was at that point Roesler unholstered her RCMP-issued gun and pointed it at Hess, telling him to either “go away” or “f—k off.”
Hess stated during the proceedings if the gun had gone off, he’s not sure if the shot would’ve hit him or not.
A few seconds later, Roesler put her gun back in its holster. An investigation into her actions began two weeks later.
Roesler argued throughout her conduct hearing that she handled the gun safely and pulled her weapon in the spirit of “dark humour.”
“If Const. Roesler was in the state of mind to take the steps to ensure her firearm was handled ‘safely’ as she claims, she would have also had the presence of mind not to take it out of her holster in the first place,” reads the decision written by Insp. Colin Miller, the sole appointee to the conduct board for the matter.
While Roesler was facing potential dismissal from the force, Miller deemed that too harsh a punishment. However, he noted the severity of Const. Roesler’s misconduct should not be underestimated.
“I find it exceedingly aggravating that Const. Roesler would, in reaction to being teased, draw her force-issued firearm, endangering all the occupants of the bullpen and surrounding area of the detachment,” stated Insp. Miller.
Ultimately, the board imposed a financial penalty equivalent to the forfeiture of 15 days’ pay, a transfer to another precinct, a one-year period of “close supervision” and counselling.
“Const. Roesler is being given an opportunity to continue in her career with the RCMP. However, any future contravention of the Code of Conduct will be seriously reviewed by the appropriate conduct authority and could lead to her dismissal from the force.”
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