Officer demoted after drunk driving incident

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By Nick Seebruch
Officer demoted after drunk driving incident
Cornwall Police Service 2019 crest.

CORNWALL, Ontario – A Cornwall Police Officer has been demoted for nine months after being caught driving while impaired.

Then Det. S/Sgt. Robert Archambault was stopped by an OPP officer near Rosedale Terrace in South Stormont after 5 p.m. on Aug. 8.

Archambault’s vehicle had been observed swerving into on coming traffic on Hwy. 138 and also driving on the gravel shoulder.

An OPP officer observed Archambault dumping out a can of beer on the side of the road. Archambault was taken into custody and charged with Impaired Driving. Two blood alcohol tests found that his blood alcohol level was 188 out of 100 milliliters after the first test and 177 out of 100 milliliters after the second.

In the criminal matter, Archambault plead guilty and was fined a total of $2,600 with his license being suspended for a year.

The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) held a disciplinary hearing on Dec. 8, at which Archambault represented himself and again pled guilty.

Both Archambault and the Counsel for the prosecution, Jessica Barrow, both asked for the same penalty, a demotion in rank from Det. S/Sgt. to Det. Sgt. for a period of nine months.

The hearing was presided over by retired Toronto police Superintendent Morris Elbers.

Elbers underscored the seriousness of the hearing and the damage Archambault’s conduct presented to the CPS.

“Staff Sergeant Archambault acted in a manner not conducive to a member of the Cornwall Police Service. His actions are clearly unacceptable. It is necessary to consider a general deterrence for all members,” Elbers wrote in his decision. “The Discreditable Conduct displayed by this officer has the potential to damage the reputation of this organization,” the report goes on to read.

Elbers did note however, that in Archambault’s 19-year career with the CPS, he had no other disciplinary issues on file, and that he had been cooperative with the investigation.

“I am confident, pleading guilty at the first opportunity, apologizing to the Tribunal, that Staff Sergeant Archambault has learned from his indiscretion and is prepared to take responsibility for his actions,” Elbers’ report reads. “Rehabilitation has been addressed. Staff Sergeant Archambault has indicated to the Tribunal that he would not appear before this Tribunal with similar conduct in the future.”

Archambault’s demotion began on Dec. 8, at the end of which he may be returned to the rank of Det. S/Sgt. “on the basis of satisfactory work performance to be determined by the officer’s
Divisional Commander,” according to Elbers’ report.

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