MPCC-2008-010

The father of a concerned friend reported to the Military Police (MP) that a junior naval officer was using steroids and he was showing physical and mental strain at the changes. Two Military Police members investigated. The investigation led to a drug test that was performed when the naval officer (a sub-lieutenant) refused to admit to steroid use when asked by his chain of command.

When the test came back positive, the Sub-Lieutenant confronted the friend and threatened him more than once. At one point, the Sub-Lieutenant was drunk and threatened to kill himself after he kicked in the door of the friend’s house. The local police took him into custody and a mental health evaluation was completed at the hospital.

The Sub-Lieutenant alleged that the Military Police members falsified a report as they did not record verbatim the interview notes into the MP occurrence report. More specifically, the MP members omitted to include in their report the key witness’ stated uncertainty as to any recent variations in the Sub-Lieutenant’s pattern of steroid ingestion. Following its investigation on a review, the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) concluded that this allegation was not substantiated due to the lack of any deliberate dishonesty on the part of the MP members concerned. The information omitted from the MPs’ report was equivocal and neutral in nature and, therefore, its importance to the report was questionable. Moreover, the purpose of the MPs’ investigation was not to gather evidence for the purposes of criminal or service prosecution, but rather was in support of the efforts by the complainant’s chain of command to ascertain, for administrative purposes, whether the complainant had recently been ingesting unauthorized substances contrary to Canadian Forces (CF) policy.

The complainant also alleged that the MP members, contrary to CF administrative orders, failed to notify the correct personnel that the Sub-Lieutenant was potentially suicidal. This allegation was also determined by the Commission to be unsubstantiated. On the first occasion when the complainant threatened suicide, it was not an immediate threat, but was premised on the prospect of losing his position in the military. Therefore, the MPs correctly monitored the complainant’s state, but were not necessarily required to alert the health care and spiritual professionals set out in the CF policy. On the subsequent occasion, when the Sub-Lieutenant broke into the friend’s house with a knife and threatened suicide, he was taken into custody by the local police for assessment under the provincial Mental Health Act. This time, the chain of command was notified and a chaplain was sent.

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