Staff from the Nova Scotia Justice Department confirm they plan to introduce legislation this spring to create an arm’s-length commission to handle investigations of police agencies.
There is no timetable yet for when the body would be in place to begin operations, nor is it known who would sit on the board. But Thursday Premier Darrell Dexter told reporters the agency could be outsourced to other Atlantic provinces.
Currently police rely on internal investigations or they can pass it off to another investigation. The tensions in that system came to light recently when the Nova Scotia RCMP claimed they couldn’t discipline one of their officers who shot a Wagmatcook man to death because a Halifax Regional Police investigation had taken too long.
HRP rejected that claim, saying the RCMP could have launched its own review at any time. HRP spokeswoman Theresa Rath said Thursday the force very much supports an independent investigation unit.
“It places these types of investigations at arm’s length and provides a board that’s independent of police agencies,” she said.
“We think it would really increase the public confidence in this process.”