A Squamish firefighter named John Taavo Martin has been charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography, court records show.
In a press release issued on Nov. 5, RCMP said Squamish officers and the Provincial Integrated Child Exploitation Unit worked together to execute a search warrant that led to the arrest of a male for alleged child pornography related offences.
“The investigation was initiated as a result of information received from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children,” reads the release.
The 43-year-old man was released on conditions and his next court appearance is scheduled for late November 2019.
Police say no further details will be released, as the matter is before the courts.
The District of Squamish has issued a response to the charges.
In a written statement, spokesperson Christina Moore issued to The Chief, the District said the RCMP informed the municipality about the matter.
“Mr. Martin is an employee of the District of Squamish,” the statement said.
“He was placed on leave from his duties as a firefighter within Squamish Fire Rescue upon his arrest on June 27, 2019. His pay and benefits have ceased now that charges have been laid, pending the outcome of the court process.”
The statement continues: “Public safety is the District’s absolute top priority and criminal record checks are required for all firefighters of Squamish Fire Rescue. We are a close-knit community – both within our organization and within the greater community, and the news of these serious allegations will be very difficult to comprehend by many. We hope that the community will offer support and privacy to Taavo’s family through this very difficult time.”