Fredericton police chief, mayor stand by police force through controversies

Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch says she stands by her police in the wake of recent controversies. File/Global News

The mayor of Fredericton and the city’s police chief say they are standing behind the Fredericton Police Force in the wake of recent controversy.

Mayor Brad Woodside released a statement Thursday expressing his support for police during what he called “challenging times.”

“As Mayor, I continue to be proud of the hardworking members of the Fredericton Police Force, and the difficult job they have to do every day,” the statement reads.

The police force recently fired Const. Cherie Campbell, after a hearing and arbitration that came out of her shoplifting arrest in Maine in 2014.

Campbell released a statement on Wednesday saying she planned to appeal her termination, and condemned the police force which she called flawed.

“I believe the present leadership at the Fredericton Police Force has created a difficult if not poisoned work environment for the police officers there,” she said.

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Chief Leanne Fitch also addressed the “troubling times” facing the force, which has seen two other officers facing several charges on top of Campbell’s termination.

“It is important to remember that there are still many hard working officers on our Force, and we are so proud of their immense dedication and professionalism as they continue to serve and protect this city,” Fitch said.

She also added the force remains committed to having “the best police force possible” serve the city, while standing by officers who may occasionally “find themselves in trouble.”

“We are also committed to engaging in a thorough review of the NB Police Act – its structure and procedures – to ensure that it can deal more effectively with issues that may arise,” she said.

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