Edmonton police chief discussing possible contract extension

Rod Knecht's contract as Edmonton Police Chief ends October 31, 2018. But there are indications an extension is a possibility.

‘We’re just having discussions,’ says Rod Knecht

Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht admitted to CBC News he's 'still in discussions' with the police commission about his current contract, which is due to expire Oct. 31, 2018. (CBC News )

Rod Knecht is considering staying on as Edmonton police chief beyond the end of his current contract, which is due to expire on Oct. 31, 2018.

"I'm told that discussions are continuing with the police commission regarding the chief's retirement date and the possibility of a contract extension," a spokesperson for the Edmonton Police Service wrote in a statement emailed to CBC News.

Knecht was asked before an Edmonton Police Commission meeting Thursday if he had made up his mind about the future.

"I'm still in discussions," he said. "Actually, we're having an in-camera discussion here today and we'll see how that goes. We might have some news later this week or early next week."

When it was suggested there would be nothing to discuss if he planned to retire at the end of his contract, Knecht would only say: "You know, really, I can't tell you one way or the other. We'll just see what happens, I guess."

Knecht has led EPS since 2011. After two years on the job, his contract was extended by the police commission to 2018.

Last December, the chief said he was considering staying on past that date.

Police commission chair Tim O'Brien said Thursday was the first time the issue would be discussed in depth.

"We're just kind of plotting a bit of a path going forward," O'Brien said.

On Thursday, Knecht indicated there are still some projects he wants to see through, including cyber-crime and a proposed community wellness centre.

"There's probably always something left undone," he said.

Time to reflect on his future

Knecht appeared at the police commission meeting sporting a black sling to protect his left shoulder. He had a mishap on the ski slopes in February.

The police chief sports a sling to protect his injured left shoulder. The left-handed Rod Knecht says he only was able to resume handwriting this week. (CBC News )

"It was a skiing accident," Knecht said. "Going down the hill and I ran into a snowboarder. Actually, the snowboarder ran into me. And over I went. And these 60-year-old bones aren't the same they were when I was 17. So they're taking a little longer to heal."

Knecht had surgery but only missed nine days of work.

The chief was asked if he issued any kind of ticket to the offending snowboarder.

"I couldn't catch him," Knecht said with a laugh. "I was actually incapacitated."


Janice Johnston

Court and crime reporter

Janice Johnston was an investigative journalist with CBC Edmonton who covered Alberta courts and crime for more than three decades. She won a national Radio Television Digital News Association award in 2016 for her coverage of the trial of a 13-year-old Alberta boy who was acquitted of killing his abusive father.