12/05/2014 10:31 EST | Updated 02/04/2015 05:59 EST

Edmonton police officer promoted, despite history of troubled, violent past

EDMONTON - An Edmonton police constable who has both a criminal and disciplinary record has been promoted to sergeant.

Mike Wasylyshen (wah-sih-LIH'-shehn) pleaded guilty to two assault charges and was fined $500 for a drunken, off-duty assault of a man on crutches and a swing at a security guard in 2005.

Wasylyshen was also found guilty in 2012 of excessive force and suspended for 120 hours without pay for using a Taser electronic stun gun eight times in about one minute on a 16-year-old boy.

The teen was passed out in the back of a suspected stolen car.

Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht (kuh-NEKT') says the promotion was not an easy decision to make and required lengthy deliberations and discussions.

While not condoning the officer's past behaviour, Knecht says Wasylyshen is now leading a stable life and appears to be at the top of his game when it comes to policing.

"The man doesn't drink anymore. He has a family now. He's stable and hasn't had any problems for 10 years. I think, as we look at anybody else in society, do we punish somebody forever? I don't think you can punish somebody forever."

The Edmonton Police Service released a statement Thursday regarding the promotion.

"All EPS officers are held accountable for their conduct, and the matters involving this member have been dealt with previously under the Police Act and are on record as being resolved. These matters were also considered as part of the promotion process.

The EPS promotion process involves an in-depth assessment, and includes a written exam, behavioural interview, as well as a review by the management team-promotion board and EPS Professional Standards. This member, as well as numerous others, went through a fair and balanced process, demonstrated their competencies, and proved themselves ready for promotion."

Wasylyshen is the son of former Edmonton police chief Bob Wasylyshen. (CHED)