Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Charged officer worked for CFS

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OTTAWA - The highly-touted Winnipeg police officer charged with child molestation this week worked briefly for Child and Family Services in Manitoba but was let go as soon as the agency learned of his legal troubles.

A provincial government spokeswoman told the Free Press Kenneth Jack Anderson was hired by Animikii Ozoson in January as a part time support worker to offer assistance to moms and dads to help make them better parents.

On May 8, he informed the agency he was being investigated by the RCMP for child abuse.

"They stopped using (his services) at that point," said Rachel Morgan, spokeswoman for the provincial government.

It is not known yet whether he spent any time alone with children in that role. Neither of the two boys he is charged with molesting came into contact with Anderson through his CFS role.

Morgan said prior to his being hired, Anderson went through both a criminal background check and a child abuse registry check and he was cleared through both.

Animikii Ozoson is a Winnipeg-based child welfare agency that services First Nations children and families who live in Winnipeg but are originally from reserves in Ontario.

RCMP arrested Anderson July 10 and he was released on the condition he have no contact with any minors.

Anderson, 47, was formally charged with two counts each of sex assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation Tuesday. The charges stem from incidents with two 11 year old boys in 2006.

It's believed Anderson's most recent posting was as a community constable in the Centennial neighbourhood, where he was lauded by residents as a positive influence for the community's youth at a recent community forum at Rossbrook House.

In 2003, Anderson was presented with a certificate of distinction for youth justice policing from the federal government and the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs for co-developing a cultural program for disadvantaged aboriginal boys in Winnipeg's inner city.

The goal of the Aboriginal Cultural Program for Boys is to decrease the risk of criminal involvement for high-risk children aged 7-17 through the promotion of their cultural awareness and identity, according to the department of justice.

Anderson was an active participant in the program, which involved sports-related activities and field trips to First Nations ceremonies such as sweat lodges.

mia.rabson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 21, 2008 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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