Criminal probe dropped into former head of London police cyber unit – The London Free Press

Niagara Regional police ended a criminal probe involving the former head of the London police cyber crime unit and aren’t laying any charges against the veteran officer.

But Sgt. Dale Howe, a 33-year veteran who has been suspended with pay for the past 15 months, still remains off the job while the London force carries out an internal investigation, police spokesperson Roxanne Beaubien said Thursday.

London police first contacted their Niagara counterparts on Jan. 30, 2017, and asked them to launch an investigation into one of their officers.

Niagara Regional police opened an investigation and obtained a warrant from a St. Catherines justice of the peace on March 1, 2017, to search Howe’s northeast London home.

However, the contents of the warrant – what prompted investigators to search the property and what they seized – remains unknown because the document is sealed.

Niagara Regional investigators returned to court on June 23, 2017, and successfully applied for an order of continuing detention, allowing them to keep any seized items for an extended period.

Neither London or Niagara Regional police have specified the nature of the now-closed criminal investigation.

London police referred further inquiries about the case to Niagara Regional police.

“That investigation is now complete and it resulted in no charges. In consideration of privacy laws it would be inappropriate to identify the member or the nature of the investigation,” Niagara Regional police spokesperson Const. Phil Gavin said in an email.

Howe has been suspended since May 5, 2017.

The London Police Association didn’t respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Prior to being reassigned to the general investigations unit, Howe led the cyber crime unit, a team of detectives patrolling the internet for child pornographers and predators.

Howe was often called to testify at trials about how he posed as a teenage girl online to attract predators, who were arrested when they came to London to have underage sex. He has also posed as fathers of young children to catch men who were interested in child pornography and sex with children. In 2005, Howe received an exemplary service medal from the Governor General.