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HRM council approve 26 police recommendations from service review report

Halifax council tables recommendations for Halifax Regional Police
Halifax Regional Police is restructuring its senior leadership ranks.

Twenty-nine recommendations came to council Tuesday on ways Halifax Regional Police can improve its overall service.

It stemmed from a motion council approved in 2018 directing CAO Jaques Dubé to consult with international police consulting firm Perryvale and Taylor to undertake a complete service review of the Halifax police and the RCMP’s work across the municipality.

READ MORE: Halifax police are dealing with 106 internal and external complaint investigations

Council approved the report and all but three of the recommendations, including a reorganization of the senior management team, which was one of Chief Dan Kinsella’s first assigned tasks when he was hired by the municipality in July.

“I’ve taken that time, trying to learn the organization and see how and where we are deploying and ensuring we put our members in the appropriate positions,” said Kinsella.

From an organizational model, Kinsella has gone back to a model with two deputy police chiefs, a model last employed nine years ago.

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One deputy chief will oversee the operational aspects from patrol and criminal investigations, with the second deputy focusing on administration and support.

“The organization chart really balances out the workload across the organization and allows for better accountability,” said Kinsella.

A fourth superintendent position is being added to help with that accountability and balance and to ensure a more effective and enhanced police service.

The report examined the current integrated policing model, with both HRP and district of Halifax RCMP policing the municipality, and said it supported that model but encouraged more collaborations.

READ MORE: New Halifax police Chief Dan Kinsella sworn in, vows to build trust with community groups

“This integrated model here is rare in that we have two policing partners policing the one area,” said Chief Supt. Janis Gray with the Halifax District RCMP. “The RCMP is partners in a multitude of other integrated teams across the country and so the practice here isn’t new, but the model is a little unique.”

Council approved a recommendation to hire nine civilians for sworn officer positions to bring specialized expertise to the force.

“We have made strides in regards to civilianization in our FIS, forensic identification section, and our IT information technology section,” said Kinsella.

The next step for the Halifax Chief of Police is to put his line of inspectors in place and hire his two deputy police chiefs.

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