February 28, 2013 | Volume 43, No. 8

Former cop's license under review

The Alaska Police Standards Council has started the process of revoking the certification of former Haines Police officer John Havard.

Havard is the fourth Haines Police officer in less than two years to either be investigated by the Alaska Police Standards Council or convicted of a criminal charge. Officers Jason Joel and Kevin Kennedy lost their certifications. Kennedy and Cassandra McEwen were convicted of misdemeanor criminal charges.

The council voted in early December to move forward with the revocation process. Revocation of Havard’s certificate would disqualify him from service as a police or corrections officer in Alaska.

Havard worked as an officer in Haines from July 2011 until January 2012.

Kelly Alzaharna, the council’s executive director, would not elaborate on the nature of the active investigation, but said it is ongoing. Alzaharna said the investigation did not stem from Havard’s time in Haines.

Havard currently works as police chief in Galena, a town of about 500 in Alaska’s Interior. When contacted by the CVN, Havard initially claimed no knowledge of the investigation.

“I think that was an erroneous rumor, because I haven’t heard anything about that,” Havard said Tuesday.

However, Havard later in the conversation claimed the council was not moving forward with revoking his certificate.

“This is the first I’ve heard about it. I talk to ASPC all the time. Apparently it’s not going forward,” Havard said.

Alzaharna said once the council votes to move forward with the revocation process, which it did on Dec. 4, 2012, an “accusation packet” is sent to the officer. Upon receipt of the packet, the officer has two weeks to decide whether to contest the charges or surrender the certificate, Alzaharna said.

“What will happen at the next meeting depends on his response. If he chooses to participate in a hearing, then we will have to go through that,” Alzaharna said.

Alzaharna said she expects the matter to be resolved by the council’s next meeting on May 20.

Haines Police Chief Gary Lowe said no complaints were filed against Havard here and he left the job for family reasons.

Although Havard worked in Haines only for about six months, he left some landlords disgruntled, including Sandy and Vic Wratten and Dave Canipe.

Havard stopped payment on a check for two months’ rent while living at the Wrattens’ house off Lutak Road and disappeared while the couple was out of town, Sandy Wratten said this week. Havard left various personal belongings at the residence, which Wratten delivered to the police station.

When Wratten raised the issue of the missing rent with Lowe, Lowe said it was a civil matter and he wouldn’t do anything about it, Wratten said.

Canipe said Havard signed a one-year lease in early October 2011 for the apartment above King’s Store, then left after two weeks. Havard had paid his first month’s rent upon signing the lease, so Canipe agreed to reimburse him for the two weeks the apartment went unoccupied.

“I didn’t really want to make any trouble since he was a cop, so I agreed to give him two weeks’ rent back. But before he could collect it, he went to Anchorage and called me from Anchorage and said, ‘You owe me two weeks’ rent,’” Canipe said.

Bob Lowden, the landlord of an apartment on Fourth Street and Union Avenue, said Havard was late with rent but eventually squared up before leaving.