A Vancouver Police Department (VPD) officer who was key in bringing Aaron Webster’s killers to justice has been named the force’s officer of the year.
Since joining the VPD in 1981, Sergeant Rob Faoro has worked in a number of sections, most recently, major crimes. He worked as a homicide detective from 1995 until 2008, when he was made a sergeant in charge of a homicide team.
He began investigating Webster’s murder in 2001, after the gay man was brutally beaten and left to die in Stanley Park.
“That was one of my most difficult cases and one of the best outcomes,” Faoro tells Xtra.
“This award could not come at a better time in my career,” he says. “I’m over the moon. I’m humbled. I’m honoured.”
A VPD news release says Faoro has played an integral role in the investigation and prosecution of some of the most challenging and publicly scrutinized homicide files in the department’s recent history.
“There is no such thing as a ‘routine’ murder investigation, but some are more challenging than others, such as the murder of Aaron Webster in Stanley Park,” the Nov 18 statement says.
“Sgt Faoro was assigned as the lead investigator in that case, which turned out to be a protracted and complex investigation,” the statement continues.
Ryan Cran and two youths were eventually convicted of manslaughter for killing Webster.
Little Sister’s co-owner Jim Deva says Faoro’s award is well deserved. Faoro treated the gay community with respect as the Webster case unfolded, Deva says. Despite a number of challenges, he ultimately managed to find witnesses and bring them forward, Deva adds.
“He was the right officer at the right time,” Deva says. “He was collected and calm. He took us in his confidence.”