The commanding officer in charge of the North Vancouver RCMP detachment is on leave, while a review is conducted into allegations of misconduct.
Supt. William Yee, who was named the new officer in charge of the North Van detachment in August 2021, has temporarily stepped aside from his role in connection with the review, the North Shore News has learned.
“I can advise that there is an investigation, which was initiated immediately once we became aware of the allegation(s),”said Dawn Roberts, director of BC RCMP communications, in an emailed statement. Roberts declined to provide further details about the investigation.
Roberts stated the North Vancouver detachment commander has been “temporarily re-assigned.”
The investigation now underway “will provide us the information necessary to make any additional decisions or take any other actions,” she stated.
Yee, a 25-year member of the RCMP, first joined the RCMP in 1996 in Kelowna.
In 2006, he joined the RCMP’s Lower Mainland District. He also served in the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team for 10 years, Combined Forces Enforcement Unit British Columbia, and the Office of Investigative Standards. He took over the post as top cop in North Vancouver in September of 2021.
So far, few details are available about exactly what has been alleged, except that they involve claims of misconduct by Yee.
City of North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan said in a statement she was “incredibly shocked and outraged” to learn of the allegations.
“These allegations are serious,” she said, adding, “I believe people when they come forward.”
Buchanan said if the allegations are true, they “demand action and justice.”
“These allegations go against who we are as a community,” she said, and “further underscore what is broken between the RCMP and the municipalities they serve. As local government, we do not have the ability to provide the oversight that is so clearly needed.”
District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little said he’d been briefed by both Assistant Commissioner Maureen Levy and Chief Superintendent Ghalib Bhayani on the matter, and they had confirmed that an investigation into an allegation against Supt. Yee is taking place.
Little said Yee attended the district’s police committee meeting as officer in charge in July, but by August, Insp. Vaz Kassam had taken over in an acting role.
Kassam is now serving as acting officer in charge of the North Vancouver detachment.
Little said apart from the current investigation, he has voiced concern to RCMP brass about “frequent changes amongst the senior officers of our detachment” over the past four years, including three superintendents and at least four inspectors.
Little said he will meet with Levy in the coming days to discuss “the longer-term plan for our detachment.”