Guelph cop forfeits 160 hours’ pay for buying steroids for colleague
Helping a fellow Guelph Police Services officer buy anabolic steroids will cost a constable about $6,400 in wages.
Const. Matthew Drenters, 45, was ordered Monday to forfeit 160 hours of pay and perform 40 hours of community service.
Niagara Police Supt. Geoffrey Skaftfeld, who presided over Drenters’s Police Services Act hearing, endorsed the penalty jointly recommended by the police service’s lawyer, Judith Stoffman, and Drenters’s lawyer, Joseph Markson.
“I find this is a serious offence and the sentence must send a strong message of accountability,” Skaftfeld said, adding the officer’s conduct has “discredited the reputation of the Guelph Police Service.”
Drenters pleaded guilty in July to one count of neglect of duty and one count of discreditable conduct. He admitted he purchased steroids for a colleague, Const. Chris Panylo, and gave Panylo the drugs while both were at the downtown police station in early 2011.
Panylo’s drug use came to light in July 2011 after he overdosed on methadone stolen from a drug raid at a Kitchener motel and was rushed to hospital in critical condition.
Panylo pleaded guilty in April to five counts under the Police Services Act and is to be sentenced in late September. The police service is seeking his termination.
He also pleaded guilty to theft in criminal court last summer and was fined $1,000 and put on probation for two years.
During the service’s investigation of Panylo, the disgraced officer said Drenters had helped him get steroids.
Drenters immediately admitted his involvement and apologized for his actions.
In accepting the joint submission, Skaftfeld noted Drenters is well regarded by his superiors and has received more than a dozen letters of commendation.
Outside the Clair Road Emergency Services Centre, where the hearing was held, Markson said his client recognizes he made “gross errors in judgment” and is “very grateful this matter’s been brought to an end.”
He noted the officer will still have an uphill battle.
“He’s going to have to earn the trust of the community and his peers going forward,” Markson said.
Guelph Police Insp. Howard McGarr called the sentence an appropriate one.
“This resolution is very satisfactory to the service, to the officer and to the community,” McGarr said, conceding Drenters has “a bumpy road ahead of him” to move past the incident.
“I would be naive to believe the (police service’s) credibility hadn’t been brought into question for some members of the community,” the inspector said, adding he believes the city largely supports its police service.
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