SASKATOON -- A Saskatoon police service officer who was found guilty of two charges of discreditable conduct Monday is now waiting to see what his future holds.
Const. Kevin Montgomery was charged with three counts of discreditable conduct stemming from incidents that took place in Regina on April 23 and 24, 2001. Hearing officer Murray Hinds found Montgomery guilty of two of the charges on Monday.
"I am of the view that this type of behaviour erodes public respect for this police officer and for the Saskatoon Police Services. The public expects more of police officers. A high standard is expected of them," said Hinds in his decision.
Montgomery, 33, must now await a sentencing hearing, to decide his punishment. The penalties for discreditable conduct range from dismissal from the service to suspension to assignment to special training courses.
Montgomery, a nine-year police veteran, has no previous history of disciplinary problems.
Nine witnesses laid out the events that took place that evening and early morning during the three day hearing, held earlier this year.
On April 23, 2001, Montgomery was sent to Regina to be an instructor at a seven-day street tactics course at the police college. According to accounts given at the hearing, Montgomery and several other instructors met for drinks sometime after the first training day ended at around 3 p.m.
Over the next six to eight hours, Montgomery consumed about 16 ounces of rum and at least five beer.
Between 11:30 p.m. and 12 a.m., Montgomery and another officer went to the Western Pizza on South Albert Street. There, Montgomery's bizarre, drunken behaviour caused a disturbance to the restaurant's patrons and staff.
According to witnesses, Montgomery began banging his menu on the table, rubbing his face and making loud snorting and growling noises, and swearing at a waitress. After staff members dialed 9-1-1 and asked the officers to leave, Montgomery leapt over a wall separating the restaurant's two levels and grabbed a chair, which one witness believed he was going to throw through a window.
It was also alleged that Montgomery grabbed one waitress by the wrist, but Hinds rejected that claim.
Montgomery then left the restaurant and walked back to his hotel, where Regina police caught up to him. After refusing to go up to his room, swearing at officers and at one point advancing on an officer in what was interpreted as an aggressive move, Montgomery was placed under arrest for being intoxicated in a public place and taken to Regina city police cells.
Montgomery was given one charge of discreditable conduct each for the incident at Western Pizza and the confrontation at the hotel.
While in custody, Montgomery continued to behave in an objectionable way towards Regina police officers.
However, Hinds ruled that that incident, which involved officers of the same police force, was essentially an extension of the situation at the hotel. For that reason, the third charge of discreditable conduct was dismissed.
Drew Plaxton, Montgomery's lawyer, argued at the hearing that the Municipal Police Discipline Regulations which guide officers' conduct should not have applied in this case, as Montgomery was off duty and did not identify himself as an officer until Regina police confronted him.
But Hinds ruled that even when off-duty, an officer must adhere to the standards of conduct set out in the regulations.
"What is at stake is nothing less than the reputation and image of the police service as a whole. If, and more likely when, a police officer's behaviour becomes public knowledge, it reflects not only on the officer but on the entire police force," said Hinds.
According to Sgt, Keith Atkinson of Saskatoon Police Services, Montgomery will remain on active duty until sentencing is complete.
SASKATOON (EXCLUSIVE) - A Saskatoon police officer is facing three charges of discreditable conduct, after a night of drunken partying.
Constable Kevin Montgomery is accused of harassing a waitress and swearing at police officers who were called to deal with his antics.
The incident occurred last spring, while Montgomery was in Regina for a training course. Montgomery's disciplinary is taking place in Saskatoon this week.
A waitress testified on Wednesday that the off-duty officer came into her restaurant extremely drunk. She says he barked like a dog, used abusive language, and grabbed her wrist.
Later in the evening, Regina police arrested Montgomery for public drunkenness. He spent the evening in police custody. (In the audio version of this story, Montgomery swears at and taunts the Regina police who arrest him, telling them "this wouldn't have happened in Saskatoon," meaning, that Saskatoon police wouold not have arrested him in similar circumstances.
Montgomery was to have taught a firearms course to police cadets the next day.
He could lose his job, depending on what the hearing, which continues Thursday, decides.