Jeff Harris, one of the recently hired inspectors with the Surrey Police Service, will no longer be joining the fledgling force.
Sharlene Brooks, SPS communications manager, said Friday Harris will “not be taking a position with the Surrey Police Service.”
Harris was among the five newly hired inspectors the SPS announced April 1.
As for the reason, Brooks said the SPS is “not in a position to comment any further” as it’s a human resources and personnel matter.
She added there are a “variety of reasons that this takes place.”
Constable Tania Visintin, VPD media relation officer, said Harris “remains a current and serving member of the VPD” but was also unable to provide any other employment details as it’s an HR and personnel matter.
According to background on Harris, he began policing in 1987 with the RCMP in Saskatchewan, before joining the Vancouver Police Department in August 1991.
SPS said he “worked his way through the ranks” from constable to inspector, having served in a “cross section of specialized areas in policing throughout his career which include, patrol, ERT, Force Options Unit, Professional Standards (both as an investigator and later a Discipline Authority).” He was promoted to inspector in 2016.
Harris has received the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Valour, two City of Vancouver Service Awards, two Chief Constable’s Awards for Bravery, has shared in three Chief Constable’s Unit Citations, and recently a Chief Constable’s Award for “his leadership and decision making during an attempted murder/arson incident.”
Meantime, the SPS has come under fire for hiring a cop who recently came off a 90-day driving prohibition while being behind the wheel.
Jeff Metcalfe, who was also announced as an inspector the same time as Harris, disclosed during his hiring process that he was fresh off the 90-day driving prohibition, Brooks previously told Black Press Media.
“With the hiring of any candidate, the Surrey Police Service makes an informed decision. Where candidates disclose personal information that is relevant to their hiring, the Surrey Police Service will assess that information to determine whether it is a barrier to being hired,” reads a statement Brooks provided to Black Press. “In this specific case, Inspector Metcalfe made full disclosure of the circumstances and has taken complete responsibility for his actions.
“The Surrey Police is more than satisfied that Inspector Metcalfe will make a strong contribution to the Surrey Police team and appreciates his candor during the interview & hiring process and look forward to welcoming him in May and benefitting from his 24 years of policing service.”
– With files from Tom Zytaruk, Tracy Holmes