Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team appoints executive director

A press release from the Saskatchewan government said the SIRT is expected to be fully operational by fall. Alexa Huffman / Global News

The Saskatchewan government has appointed a civilian executive director to lead the Public Complaints Commission and the new Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT).

The SIRT is expected to start operating in the fall. The civilian-led team will investigate serious incidents involving police officers.

Read more: Saskatchewan takes next step in establishing police watchdog

Gregory Gudelot held the role of assistant executive director for Alberta Serious Incident Response team since 2017.

“In that role, he has overseen a number of complex investigations and helped shape national standards for police oversight in Canada,” a provincial press release stated.

Gudelot is originally from Saskatchewan and also has criminal law experience as a crown prosecutor and defence counsel.

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“We could not have asked for a more qualified and dedicated candidate to support our transition to this new model of police oversight,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said in the press release.

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“I was born and raised in Saskatchewan and maintain strong ties to the province,” Gudelot said.  “I am passionate about the topic of civilian oversight of law enforcement, and welcome the opportunity to help bring oversight to my home province.”

Working under Gudelot, SIRT members will investigate all matters where a person has suffered a sexual assault, serious injury or death while in custody of police or as the result of the actions of a police officer, the release explained.

The SIRT will also require the appointment of a community liaison of First Nations or Métis ancestry, if the victim is of First Nations or Métis ancestry.

Public Complaints Commission Chair Michelle Ouellette said she looks forward to working with Gudelot.

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“Mr. Gudelot’s leadership skills, expertise in police oversight, and legal knowledge will be tremendous assets to the Public Complaints Commission,” Ouellette said in the release.

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SIRT investigations will apply to municipal police officers and RCMP officers working in Saskatchewan, and certain prescribed classes of special constables, like traffic officers and conservation officers.

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