Const. Bruce Armstrong Was Arrested Friday On Charges That Include Cocaine Possession.
A veteran St. Thomas police officer faces several charges, including cocaine possession, after he was arrested by his own force.
The arrest of Bruce Armstrong -- a constable with 17 years experience -- last Friday made for a difficult weekend for St. Thomas police, Chief Bill Lynch said yesterday.
"It's a sad day for our service that we're dealing with our own," Lynch said. "This is the first time in my 28 years as a police officer that we've arrested somebody ( on ) drug ( charges )."
There is, however, at least something positive to be taken from the arrest, which happened on a St. Thomas street late Friday afternoon during a still-ongoing drug investigation, Lynch said.
"I'm very proud of the professionalism shown by our officers in dealing with one of our own," he said. "As disappointing as it is . . . I take a lot of solace in knowing our members dealt with it in a professional manner."
Armstrong had been charged with assault at an earlier date and was on suspension at the time of last week's arrest.
Though the assault charge didn't stem from an on-duty incident, Armstrong was facing an internal investigation under the Police Services Act, Lynch said.
Because such internal investigations are mandatory, Const. Glenn Hodgson said it's likely another will be launched following this latest arrest.
In addition to the drug possession charge, Armstrong is also charged with resisting arrest and two counts of breaching recognizance. He was to appear in St. Thomas court yesterday.
To Lynch, last Friday's arrest is proof police do their job, no matter the circumstances.
"The public should ( know ) that they are right to maintain their confidence in their police," he said.
"We are accountable to the public. We aren't above the law."