The new crop of Saanich police reserve officers.

Saanich boosts screening for reserve cops

26 officers sworn in last month underwent full background checks

The newest crop of Saanich police volunteer reserve officers, sworn in late last month, underwent a much more thorough and stringent screening process than their counterparts of years past.

Polygraph tests and full background checks – involving hundreds of interviews – were done to ensure the 24 new recruits were who they said they were.

The departmental policy on screening reserve officers changed after former reserve constable Jason Walker was arrested in January 2010 after an investigation into his claims that he was a doctor and clinical counsellor determined two doctorate degrees hanging on his office wall were fakes.

Prior to this revelation, Walker had testified at two trials, including one child custody proceeding where his affidavit as an expert witness was relied upon when the judge in that case denied the father contact with his six-year-old son.

In August 2010, Walker pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury and one count of using forged documents, and received a conditional sentence.

Sgt. Dean Jantzen says the new crop of 24 Saanich reserve officers (plus two from Oak Bay) underwent a “more robust” screening process than Walker.

“I’d like to say we’ve done a better job this time around,” Jantzen said. Two police officers were assigned full time to conducting the in-depth screening.

In 2010, then-police spokesperson Sgt. Julie Fast said Walker’s credentials were irrelevant when he was screened prior to becoming a reserve officer in June 2007.

“It doesn’t matter what career a person holds in the community, if they pass a criminal background check, which is tailored toward their work as a volunteer, that’s what we look for,” Fast said in January 2010.

The 26-member reserve class held its graduation ceremony March 31 at the Lt. Gen. Ashton Armoury, following six months of instruction on such things as legal training, traffic enforcement and tactical communication.

Reserve officers are badged constables who are considered “bonus” officers, not replacements for sworn members, Jantzen said. Their volunteer duties typically include providing support on weekend night shifts, providing security and directing traffic at community events.

The new reserves range in age from their late teens to mid-40s, and come from a variety of professional backgrounds, including an ex-member of the Peruvian military.

For more information on the reserve constable program, visit

Just Posted

Trans ID Clinics provide folks with pro bono legal advice

Free info sessions for people looking to change their name, gender marker on their identification

Oak Bay is the second-least dangerous community in Canada according crime index

Victoria and Esquimalt ranks 32nd in Canada, 9th in British Columbia

Plant-based pizza restaurant to open its doors in Victoria this December

Virtuous Pie has locations in Vancouver, Toronto and Portland

Esquimalt council approves building, dog areas for Gorge Park

$7 million in funding for waterfront improvements goes to multipurpose building and dog park

PHOTOS: Trangender flag raised for first time ever outside of B.C. Legislature

Nov. 20 marks Transgender Day of Remembrance, honouring those who have been murdered

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

B.C. woman puts call out for 10,000 personal, heartfelt Christmas cards for the homeless

Christmas Card Collective enters into third year of making spirits bright

Most Read