Harley Chappell should resign from the Surrey Police Board. It would be the noble thing to do, and if he does not, he should be removed.
This is not to say Chappell – who posed for a photograph at a funeral, with members of the Hells Angels, two years before the police board was formed – is in any way a bad guy.
Indeed, his departure from the board would no doubt be a loss, seeing as the chief of the Semiahmoo First Nations’ input represents an important opportunity for Indigenous people to participate in the development of the fledgling Surrey Police Service.
But that said, the shadow cast over this police board by a member, who is chairman of the governance committee no less, being photographed with members of what police have described as an outlaw motorcycle gang – of which his own father had been a member – can only impede public confidence in a new police force that the nine-member board is tasked with overseeing.
This is not the first time someone in a position of authority, in Surrey or on the national stage, for that matter, has found him or herself in a pickle over a photograph. Chappell has said he has never personally been associated to the Hells Angels “in any way.”
Even if he is as pure as the driven snow, perception is a powerful force and to keep the board and new police department free of any suggestion of blemish, Chappell should fall on his sword and permit the board to turn the page on this.
All said, the province should have been on top of this matter during its vetting process. This would have spared Chappell much embarrassment.