Halifax’s newly minted police chief expressed disappointment Thursday over the arrests of three officers within the last month.
Dan Kinsella, who was sworn in as chief of Halifax Regional Police in July, expressed his disappointment during a news conference at police headquarters.
“While I cannot speak to the full details of these cases that are still under investigation, I can say that criminal charges are being pursued in all three cases,” said Kinsella.
He stressed that he didn’t want the arrests to overshadow the “good work” his officers do each day, but he wanted to assure the public and members of the police force that “people will be held accountable for their actions.”
Kinsella said police are also taking the appropriate internal discipline steps as laid out in the Nova Scotia Police Act.
In the most recent incident, an off-duty officer was arrested Monday in Eastern Passage, N.S., in connection with a threats complaint involving a man and a woman, who RCMP say knew each other.
Another officer was arrested Sept. 18 on charges of unlawfully entering a home and sexually assaulting the owner, while a third was arrested Sept. 13 after something was stolen from a business.
Nova Scotia’s police watchdog agency, the Serious Incident Response Team, is now handling the investigations.
Kinsella said two of the three members have been suspended with pay, and he expects the third officer will also be suspended soon.
According to the chief, 10 members of the force and two civilian members have been arrested over the last five years.
Deputy mayor Tony Mancini, a member of the civilian board of police commissioners that oversees both regional police and the Halifax RCMP, said the string of charges raises a lot of questions.
“Having three incidents in one month is alarming,” Mancini said. “Are there things we can do … to prevent any of these things? Do we have the right systems in place?”
Mancini said it was too early to say whether the commission needs to do its own investigation. If that happens he said it would have to look at the broader perspective.
“Is there a trend happening here? And if so, why?” he said.
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