Relationship with commission became 'caustic,' Edmonton police chief says

Edmonton’s police Chief Rod Knecht said his relationship with the police commission became “caustic” in 2017, after a communication breakdown led to trust issues.

Chief Rod Knecht says he's still uncertain why his contract was not renewed

Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht told reporters on Tuesday that he had been surprised by the commission's decision not to renew his contract. (Trevor Wilson/CBC)

Edmonton's police Chief Rod Knecht says his relationship with the police commission became "caustic" in 2017, after a communication breakdown led to trust issues.

"There was, I would say, more than tension," said Knecht. "I think at some times the relationship was caustic, and that was troublesome."

Knecht's contract was not extended by the commission when the two sides couldn't agree on the length of the extension. 

"It did take me by surprise," Knecht told the media on Tuesday.

He said he was still unclear about why the conversation related to his contract extension abruptly ended in March.

"I felt like I was in a little bit of purgatory there for a while," said the chief.

Coun. Scott McKeen, who sits on the police commission, disagreed with Knecht's assessment of his relationship with the commission.

"People ask tough questions, but it's not personal," said McKeen. "I never saw it degenerate into anything that was less than civil."

Knecht, who had asked to stay on as chief until June 2019, will retire in October.

He said the commission's offer to extend his contract until March 2019 did not give him enough time to complete projects that are important to him.