Edmonton police force accused of corruption

The RCMP is planning to investigate allegations of corruption in the Edmonton police department after a veteran member of the force filed a complaint last month.

Detective Ken Montgomery says senior police officers have been associating with members of biker gangs and convicted criminals. He also accuses Edmonton's Police Chief, John Lindsay, of turning a blind eye to organized crime in Alberta.

He says they've also been covering up security breaches, and crimes committed by other officers.

"I believe and I'm very confident that the evidence exists to blow this thing wide open, if we want to do it right," says Montgomery.

Earlier this year, another detective sent a letter to police departments across the country warning of "a direct link" between the Edmonton Police Service and an outlaw bike gang.

The Mounties are already looking into allegations that the Hells Angels biker gang have a "mole" in the police department.

The city's police commission reviewed the Montgomery complaint and asked Justice Minister Jon Havelock to appoint an outside agency to probe the allegations. In a rare move, the minister assigned the RCMP to investigate.

Already some are saying having the RCMP investigate could be a conflict of interest since the Mounties headquarters are in Edmonton. Montgomery's lawyer Michael Chwok told the CBC he had hoped for an out-of-province force "to maintain the sanctity of the investigation."

Havelock says he was forced to appoint a provincial police force because of provisions within the police act.

Liberal Justice Critic Sue Olsen, who used to be a police officer with the Edmonton force herself, says the police act should be changed so that a force outside the province could be brought in to investigate.