Halifax’s top cops spoke out against the government’s plan to scrap the long-gun registry yesterday, one week before a crucial vote in the House of Commons.

And they did not mince words.

“To lose that type of information ... would be devastating,” said Chief Frank Beazley of the Halifax Regional Police. “It’s a sad day, in my mind, if this takes place.”

Beazley said the registry holds information on 65,000 registered guns in HRM —information he says is crucial in criminal investigations.

RCMP Supt. Darrell Beaton countered the common anti-registry talking point concerning rank-and-file officers not supporting the registry.

“I have spoken with front-line officers, and I’m aware they do use the registry on a regular basis, and they feel comfortable with the information that the registry provides,” Beaton said. “Clearly, it contributes to police officer safety and, by extension, public safety and we value that.”

Beazley and Beaton were joined at a press conference yesterday by Stephenie McInnis-Langley, director of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Pamela Harrison, provincial representative for the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters, and Janet Hazelton, president of the Nova Scotia Nurses Union.

Hazelton read a joint statement from all five speakers.

“We believe it is time to make our voices heard in the interest of public safety,” she read. “We represent a unified voice … in support of maintaining the long-gun registry.”

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