Edmonton police readying to launch review into naming victims of homicide

Police are days away from finalizing who will conduct the independent review of the policy on naming homicide victims, says Edmonton's police chief.

Contract for 30-day review ready to be finalized, Chief Dale McFee says

EPS is a few days away from announcing who will review policy on naming homicide victims, said Police Chief Dale McFee Thursday.

Police are days away from finalizing a contract for an independent review of the policy of naming homicide victims, says Edmonton's police chief.

At Thursday's police commission meeting, Chief Dale McFee said the contract would be finalized shortly. The 30-day review will be conducted by a group that respects different opinions, he said.

"We need somebody that's going to respect the victims, we need somebody that's obviously going to look at this from a public interest perspective and a privacy perspective and then an operational perspective," McFee said outside the meeting.

"What I hope to come up with, this is a 30-day review which will give us some options, some of the best practices out there."

Last year, there were 28 homicides in Edmonton. Police identified 17 of the victims but argued there was no investigative purpose to releasing names in the other 11 cases.

In contrast, Calgary police named the victims of all 17 homicides in that city last year, and Alberta RCMP named 29 of 30 victims.

Of the four women who were murdered in Edmonton, the name of only one victim was released. 

The Alberta Council of Women's Shelters has formally adopted a position stating government institutions should release the names of women killed by their intimate partners.

There was a lot of support for the review when he mentioned it at a recent meeting of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, McFee said.

"So we're going to be the model that goes forward," said McFee. 

McFee said he is committed to make a decision on the way forward for EPS following the review.

With files from Janice Johnston


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