FREDERICTON (GNB) – Changes to the Police Act proposed today would allow the provincial government to formally reach an agreement to have Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) act as the police oversight body for both provinces.

The two provinces have already reached an agreement in principle to share the services. Today’s legislation would authorize the Department of Justice and Public Safety to negotiate an agreement.

“We are committed to ensuring we have access to the expertise that we need to serve our communities and provide independent oversight in the interest of public safety,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Hugh J. Flemming. “Serious incidents involving police are very rare and they are investigated in an efficient and professional manner. Having an agreement in place will ensure increased availability of services for future investigations in New Brunswick.”

SiRT is an independent agency that investigates serious matters such as death, serious injury, intimate partner violence or any other matter involving an officer that is determined to be in the public interest to be investigated.

An agreement would ensure both provinces benefit from the agency’s expertise and independent oversight in the interest of public safety.

Additional resources will be required to support the expanded service. Once an agreement is in place the partnership is expected to start in 2022.