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Canadian police ‘end up wearing’ U.S. law enforcement issues: Halifax police chief

Click to play video 'Halifax police chief explains ‘Ferguson effect’' Halifax police chief explains ‘Ferguson effect’
WATCH ABOVE: Halifax Regional Police Chief Jean Michael-Blais connects the dots between violence in the States and how it effects people's perceptions of policing worldwide – Sep 23, 2016

Halifax’s police chief says law enforcement in this country is inevitably challenged by police-civilian conflicts in the United States, although Canadians need to know things aren’t comparable on this side of the border.

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Jean-Michel Blais says Canadian police often “end up wearing” U.S. law enforcement issues, particularly as a result of highly charged incidents in places such as Orlando, Dallas, Baton Rouge, and North Carolina.

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He told a business audience Friday that one of the biggest challenges for police is dealing with perceptions that often have “no basis in fact.”

But Blais says for him, the so-called Ferguson effect in the U.S. means “what happens there, matters here.”

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Blais says to combat perceptions and to deal with real problems police have to involve themselves in more community engagement in order to keep a level of trust.

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He says while the problems in the U.S. aren’t directly applicable to the Canadian context, there is still plenty of work to do here when it comes to race relations.