VANCOUVER, CANADA – Rookie RCMP Const. Chris Christinger has been docked 10 days’ pay after a day of partying at the Bella Coola Rodeo that included drinking before his shift, sneaking an 18-year-old girl into a beer garden and driving a police truck while under the influence of alcohol.
But Christinger’s biggest mistake may have been to take photos of his partying, some of which ended up on Facebook, where they were available for the general public, and his RCMP bosses, to see.
Christinger appeared before an RCMP disciplinary board earlier this year.
According to their decision, obtained by The Vancouver Sun, Christinger, an officer in Alexis Creek, was sent to Bella Coola to help police the community’s annual rodeo.
Christinger arrived in Bella Coola several hours before his 4:30 p.m. shift began.
So he went to the rodeo grounds, where he drank four bottles of Smirnoff Ice before heading back to his hotel, getting changed into his RCMP uniform and driving to the Bella Coola detachment.
Around 7 p.m., a senior officer, Cpl. Wallace, went to a roadblock where Christinger was stationed after receiving a complaint that Christinger had been seen drinking earlier in the day.
Christinger admitted to Wallace he had some drinks and gave a breath sample, which came back as 0.014, below the legal limit of 0.08.
Wallace told him to go home and not report for work until the next day. Christinger, however, wasn’t done partying.
Around 9 p.m., while still in uniform, he drove to the home of A.J., an 18-year-old he had met earlier in the day.
Christinger encouraged A.J. and her friends to jump on his police truck for photos, telling one, according to the decision, to “cover the licence plate so that they can’t trace it to me.”
In one of the photos, four women are shown holding beer, including one girl, identified as S.K., who was under 19.
Three of the photos taken by Christinger were later posted on Facebook where they were “publicly accessible.”
After partying at A.J.’s place for about an hour, Christinger returned to his hotel, changed out of his uniform and headed back to the rodeo with A.J.
There, the two went to the beer garden, where he “coached A.J. as to what to say to the security guards at the entrance.
“[He] also informed the security guards that he was a police officer and he would vouch for A.J. being of legal age.”
Once in the beer garden, Christinger met up again with A.J.’s friend, S.K., who he bought a drink for even though he “ought to have known [she] was a minor.”
The board hearing Christinger’s case, made up of three senior Mounties, found Christinger exhibited “disgraceful conduct.”
However, they noted he admitted his misconduct and was inexperienced, with only eight months on the job at the time of the incident.
RCMP spokeswoman Const. Annie Linteau noted that, under the RCMP Act, 10 days’ lost pay is the maximum financial penalty an officer can receive short of being fired.
“So, obviously the board took it quite seriously,” she said.
Christinger, who now works for the RCMP in Prince George, could not be reached for comment.