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Vancouver Police terminates officer after allegations of mishandling evidence
BYLINE: Kyle Mallory,

Vancouver, WA

VANCOUVER - After a 12 month investigation, Vancouver Police announced today the termination of one of their own officers.

Cpl. Randy Braaksma is accused of mishandling evidence, including taking drug evidence to his personal residence where he held the paraphenilia for up to a year.

As a result, the Clark County prosecuting attorney's office declined to prosecute the suspect in the case involving the evidence.

In another case, Braaksma reported seizing cash and drugs during the arrest of a suspect, but the evidence was not submitted to the VPD evidence facility until six months later.

Additional cases were also discovered in which Cpl. Braaksma mishandled evidence in the course of the investigation.

"The actions of Cpl. Braaksma documented in this investigation are completely unacceptable," said Police Chief Cliff Cook in a release from the department today.

"Taking home drug evidence and repeatedly mishandling evidence that could otherwise be used to help take criminals off the street can not be tolerated in the Vancouver Police Department," Cook added.

After Braaksma was notified of the allegations against him in February 2009, he filed a Tort Claim Notice with the City of Vancouver indicating he intended to file suit against the city.

The Vancouver Police Department is resolute in its internal investigation process and findings, and in the disciplinary actions taken.

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