Kelowna RCMP officer demoted after storing meth at his home for 10 years | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna RCMP officer demoted after storing meth at his home for 10 years

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- This story was originally published Jan. 14, 2022.

A Kelowna RCMP officer has been docked 15 days pay and demoted for three years after he found meth and pipes at his sister's house and instead of reporting them, just took them home.

The drugs and pipes remained at his family home for roughly a decade before his wife turned them over to the police in February 2020.

At a virtual RCMP Code of Conduct hearing, Jan. 13, Cpl. Scott Falkingham admitted to storing the methamphetamine at his home along with several other infractions.

Board members heard that in 2009, Falkingham had found the meth and several pipes while helping his sister clean out her property before she sold it.

His sister believed the drugs probably belonged to her husband.

But instead of dealing with the illegal narcotics correctly, he just took them back to his home where he lived with his wife and children.

For reasons unexplained, his now-estranged wife handed them to the police in 2020.

Falkingham also faced two separate two code of conduct violations.

READ MORE: Vernon RCMP officer fined and transferred for lying

RCMP Conduct Board member Kevin Harrison told the hearing that in 2015 while off duty, Falkingham had helped a friend and his daughter move house in Calgary.

After the move, he had consumed alcohol and taken two of his wife's benzodiazepine pills.

The friend had discovered the police officer unconscious on the bathroom floor the next morning and confronted the officer about his drug use.

Board members heard how the friend had told Falkingham that he needed help and to see a doctor or psychologist.

"Your conduct was discreditable," Harrison said.

When asked if he wanted to say anything, Falkingham replied, "I have nothing to say at this time."

The third code of conduct allegation involved three separate occasions in which he had made a series of errors following drug seizures and paperwork.

"You failed to log exhibits in a proper and timely manner and demonstrated poor record-keeping contrary to RCMP procedure," the conduct board ruled.

The panel heard how the police officer's sloppy paperwork did not compromise any criminal trials.

The RCMP Conduct Board said Falkingham had been a senior officer and had failed to "lead by example."

"(The incidents) show a lack of proper exhibit and drug handling, this overall incident is a breach of public expectation surrounding the handling of illegal drugs by police officers," Harrison said. "Public knowledge of this kind negatively affects the public trust in the RCMP."

The board also heard that during the time period when the incidents took place he was under "intense personal stresses" as his wife had cancer and then they later separated before going through a divorce.

Falklingham was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

It was not disclosed when it started, but he was suspended with pay prior to the hearing.

Ultimately, the RCMP board docked Falkingham 15 days' pay and demoted him for three years. The officer will also be under close supervision for the next year.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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