Nova Scotia

Bridgewater's chief of police under investigation for alleged sex assault

The chief of the Bridgewater Police Service is being investigated after an allegation of sexual assault, the force confirmed Monday.

Chief John Collyer has not been charged; police watchdog is investigating

John Collyer, Bridgewater's chief of police, has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation into an alleged sex assault. (CBC)

The chief of the Bridgewater Police Service is being investigated after an allegation of sexual assault, the force confirmed Monday.

No criminal charges have been laid against Chief John Collyer.

Collyer is on an administrative leave pending the results of an investigation by the Serious Incident Response Team — Nova Scotia's independent police watchdog — deputy chief Scott Feener said in an email to CBC News.

Feener said he will be taking over chief of police duties while Collyer is on leave.

Police watchdog investigating

According to the Bridgewater Police Service's website, Collyer has been chief of police since early December 2011.

The watchdog announced two weeks ago that an officer with the Bridgewater Police Service was under investigation for allegedly assaulting a teenage girl and obstructing justice. SIRT would not specify the girl's age or if she is a minor.

The incidents are alleged to have happened earlier this year and SIRT said another police agency contacted them with information on Aug. 4.

The obstruction of justice investigation is connected to the alleged sexual assault, the watchdog said earlier this month.

Community shocked, says mayor

David Walker, the mayor of Bridgewater, said he was shocked to learn of the allegations against Collyer.

"Just utter surprise with the allegations," said Walker. "I'm very interested in the SIRT process and investigation and the report they're going to file and what they would recommend."

Walker said he has known Collyer for years from being on the council and from Collyer's work with the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association.

Walker said he plans to contact Collyer.

"I think the community and everybody is shocked at the allegations and I think our thoughts are with two groups: the person who has filed the complaints and with Chief Collyer and his family as well," Walker said, adding that he has "all kinds of mixed emotions."

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