FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has released the report from the consultant hired to review the operations of the New Brunswick Police Commission.

The report by Alphonse MacNeil, which contains 22 recommendations under 13 different categories, was submitted to Public Safety Minister Carl Urquhart and to Lynn Chaplin, chair of the New Brunswick Police Commission.

“The commission is the cornerstone of civilian oversight of police services in the province, so we thank Mr. MacNeil for his thoughtful report on its operations and we appreciate that the commission requested the review,” Urquhart said. “We accept his recommendations and will take steps to address those made directly to the Department of Public Safety.

“We also note that Mr. MacNeil reported positively on the current team at the commission,” he said. “We are confident that the leadership in place can effectively respond to the report and is well equipped to provide stability to the office and lead it into the future. That is why the government appointed Lynn Chaplin as chair of the commission and Marc Léger as vice-chair with their terms extended to October 2021 and May 2023, respectively.”

The Department of Public Safety will bring together stakeholders, including the commission, to discuss revisions to the Police Act. These discussions will include an evaluation of Section 20 of the act regarding the definition of adequacy of policing services and will also address the feasibility of establishing a Serious Incident Response Team in New Brunswick.

The department is also discussing with the commission their need for an electronic file management system.

Department staff will also work with the commission to review recommendations related to it, including the selection process for commission members, their requirements and competencies, as well minimum term appointments.

MacNeil began work last spring to review the policies, practices and procedures of the commission. He was hired after the commission formally requested the minister identify an independent third party to perform a review. The board requested the review to maintain public confidence in the commission as an independent oversight body responsible for protecting the public interest in matters of policing.