New Brunswick

Saint John police chief complaint about Glen McCloskey probed

Former Fredericton police chief Barry MacKnight has been appointed by the New Brunswick Police Commission to investigate a complaint made against Saint John Deputy Police Chief Glen McCloskey by the chief of the Saint John Police Department.

Barry MacKnight appointed by New Brunswick Police Commission to examine conduct of deputy chief

Former Fredericton police chief Barry MacKnight has been appointed by the New Brunswick Police Commission to investigate a complaint made against Saint John Deputy Police Chief Glen McCloskey by the chief of the Saint John Police Department.

John Bates, Saint John's police chief (Twitter)
Saint John Police Chief John Bates asked for the investigation on Oct. 14 following testimony that arose during Dennis Oland's second-degree murder trial.

During the trial, retired staff sergeant Mike King testified McCloskey suggested he lie under oath about the Richard Oland murder case.

McCloskey also testified and denied King's allegations that he suggested the investigator alter his testimony about McCloskey's presence at the bloody crime scene.

Deputy Chief Glen McCloskey, Saint John Police Force (CBC)
McCloskey served as Saint John's acting police chief between Bill Reid's retirement in April and a few weeks ago when Bates took over the role. McCloskey remains on active duty.

Bates directed the Saint John force's professional standards unit to look into the issue and also advised the Saint John Board of Police Commissioners and the New Brunswick Police Commission of the matter.

The investigation under the Police Act by MacKnight will not begin until the conclusion of the Oland trial.

The trial is expected to run until mid-December.

Workshop to discuss Police Act changes

The police commission announced the MacKnight appointment as they were set to begin a three-day workshop Tuesday to discuss possible changes to the Police Act.

The topics under discussion include everything from the ability to suspend officers without pay, to coming up with a new name for the commission.

Police chiefs and municipal representatives from across the province and RCMP officials are honing their pitch to government.

Commission executive director Steve Roberge was disappointed police unions and the minister of Public Safety declined to take part.

"We are a little concerned that the ministry isn't participating. We would have preferred to see that leadership present today, denoting their support for the revisions to the act," said Roberge.

Roberge says he hopes the fact that Public Safety Minister Steve Horsman is a former police officer would make him more aware of why the revisions are needed, and not less inclined to favour them.

Roberge says one issue keeps coming up.

"The chiefs of police are very adamant about the suspension, without pay, of police officers."

Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch said amendments to the Police Act in 2008 have "resulted in some unintended consequences that have been problematic, both in terms of administering the act, as well as discipline and code of conduct proceedings."

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