New Fredericton police chief seeks to use experience to heal department’s wounds
Roger Brown is a self-described “people person.”
Fredericton’s new police chief, who was sworn in for a three-year term with the department on Wednesday, takes the wheel of a force that has gone through three chiefs in the past five years.
“I may be chief of police but I’m also a police officer and I know my roots,” Brown told Global News on Thursday.
The former head of the New Brunswick RCMP is no stranger to the task in front of him, but he has no shortage of jobs that need to be done.
“My vision would be that we have a police organization who deeply care about each other within the organization to a point where it manifests itself in the city that they serve,” said Brown.
Brown has 36 years of experience in policing, and he’ll have to use all of his experience — including his time overseeing the investigation of the murder of three mounties in Moncton in 2014 — to help a department still recovering from the fatal shooting of two of its own officers.
“I’m in a really good position right now to be able to deal with it, to be able to talk about it, to be able to help others who are going through it, but that was a process, that was a journey,” said Brown.
Brown adds that the city will never be the same after the fatal shootings.
“I say this from a very personal perspective. You can’t say to yourself: ‘I’m going to forget about this.’ You learn to live with it and you need to figure out a way to put it in the right perspective,” he said.
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On the topic of body cameras, Brown says it’s hard to describe the exact circumstances in which they could be used but adds that he is open to new employing new technology.
“I’m not convinced yet, to be frank. A body camera has a lens, and a lens is very small, and it shows a very pointed area but doesn’t show peripheral, and sometimes, we can falsely think that we see everything on camera,” said Brown.
Moving forward, the new chief wants to focus on the physical and mental health of his staff.
“If you take care of yourself, you take care of the organization, you will automatically be well positioned to take care of the communities that you serve,” he said.
—With files from Alexander Quon
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