Saint John Police firing back at criticism
Published Monday, July 23, 2012 7:05PM ADT
Saint John’s finest are defending their record when it comes to solving crime.
Just over a year after the murder of businessman Richard Oland in uptown Saint John, the city’s police union fired back at criticism that the case remains unsolved.
“The men and women working on this case are working hard,” says N.B. Police Association president Cst. Dean Secord. “There’s the lab exercise that they have to go through in Halifax, and also everything has to go through a Crown prosecutor to get the okay for charges.”
Recent Telegraph Journal editorials and cartoons have questioned the police department’s ability to handle the Oland case and other policing issues.
Police Chief Bill Reid told CTV News last week that a resolution to the Oland case is coming sooner rather than later.
“More specifically the Oland file. I am absolutely positive we will have this case resolved relatively shortly,” said Reid. “It is more complex than most.”
The controversy has placed the union in the unusual position of defending their chief.
“It’s not something that can be addressed any differently than he already has,” says Saint John Police Association president Cst. Jamie Hachey. “He’s given them all he can without jeopardizing a very complex investigation.”
In recent weeks, the newspaper has suggested the city look at handing over policing to the Mounties.
Over the past 20 years the RCMP has taken over municipal policing in several small New Brunswick communities and Moncton, but the idea of switching to the RCMP in Saint John hasn’t been breached in many years
“I haven’t thought about it and I haven’t heard any of the other councilors talking about it,” says newly elected councillor, John MacKenzie. “I think people for the most part are happy with the service."
The union says municipal policing is less expensive than a switch to the federal force.
They also suggested every police force in the Maritimes will experience similar delays from RCMP crime labs in the future.
A rearrangement in the crime lab services will see more evidence sent outside the Maritimes for analysis.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron