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BC  

Ex-cop alleges harassment

A former officer says she was a victim of sexual harassment at the Vancouver Police Department.

The woman is speaking out after an investigation into two senior officers' inappropriate relationships with Const. Nicole Chan, who took her own life in January.

"I related so much to the details in the story about the investigation that she went through and thought, how could it come to this?" the former officer told CTV News.

The woman says her harassment began immediately after she joined the force, by fellow constables and supervisors.

"They would come to you with the illusion of, 'I'm here to help you with your career,' or 'Here's my phone number, I'll support you. If you have any questions, let me know.' And then that quickly changes to texts like, 'Hey, I can't stop thinking about you,' sexual innuendo, jokes, straight out propositioning you for sex. And it was never about helping me with my career."

"I’ve never in my life had any mental health challenges until this harassment started, and I found myself suffering anxiety attacks, panic attacks. It really affected my day to day life and who I was."

Colleagues even made joking comments about killing herself, such as "Why don't you just eat your gun?"

After a year on the force, she filed a complaint and eventually quit after two years.

Media relations officer Const. Steve Addison told CTV the force takes all reports of harassment seriously.

"We know historically within policing culture harassment has been an issue, and over the past couple decades there's been a dramatic shift within the policing world," Addison said. "We don't believe here at the VPD there are any systemic issues with regards to harassment."

– with files from CTV Vancouver



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