Major Case Management Review of Saint John Police Force released
FREDERICTON – The New Brunswick Police Commission released its quality assurance report on the Saint John Police Force’s management of major cases.
Chair of the Police Commission Lynn Chaplin said the review team did an extensive examination of major crime incidents that occurred in Saint John between 2014 and 2019. “The team assessed actions the Saint John Police Force has taken to strengthen its crime scene processing and management, since the 2011 homicide of Richard Oland. Based on the results of our examination, the Police Commission concludes the Saint John Police Force has addressed the issues raised by Justice Walsh in the 2015 trial of Dennis Oland.”
Chaplin said the public should be confident that the Saint John Police Force can respond to and investigate a major crime incident such as a homicide. “The purpose of any quality assurance review is to ensure an organization is providing the best possible service and acting in the most effective and efficient way. Our recommendations are aimed at further strengthening the policies, processes and procedures for major crime management.”
The executive director of the Police Commission Jennifer Smith and senior consultant Rick Votour conducted the review, which makes three recommendations. It recommends the Minister of Public Safety create a provincial major case management policy; that the Saint John Chief of Police establish standard operating procedures/policy for investigating major crime incidents; and that the Saint John Chief of Police utilize a Sudden Death checklist for supervisors to complete upon conclusion of any sudden death incident deemed non-criminal in nature.
The Saint John Board of Police Commissioners asked the Police Commission to conduct the review in December 2015. The Police Commission suspended its review pending the successful appeal by Dennis Oland for a new trial. In August 2019, following the acquittal of Dennis Oland, the Police Commission resumed its review.
The New Brunswick Police Commission is an independent board of citizens. Created in 1977 under the Police Act, the Commission oversees complaints about police officers and the policies and services of police forces. The Commission oversees seven municipal police forces and two regional police forces in New Brunswick. For more information visit https://commissiondepolicenb.ca/.
Jennifer Smith, Executive Director