Nova Scotia

Police chief bans officers from taking guns home following theft charges

The chief of the Halifax Regional Police has banned officers from taking their guns home with them after a 17-year veteran of the force was charged with stealing from a grocery store while allegedly carrying her service weapon.

Const. Jennifer McPhee was arrested Sept. 13, has been suspended with pay

Dan Kinsella is chief of the Halifax Regional Police. (CBC)

The chief of the Halifax Regional Police has banned officers from taking their guns home after a 17-year veteran of the force was charged with stealing from a grocery store while allegedly carrying her service weapon.

Const. Jennifer McPhee, 42, is facing seven charges, including weapons offences related to a Sig Sauer 9 mm pistol, following a theft from an Atlantic Superstore in Halifax last month, according to court documents.

In a news conference Thursday, Halifax Police Chief Dan Kinsella said there is no reason for officers to have their weapon in their off-duty hours, and he has changed the force's policy so they are no longer allowed to take them home.  

McPhee was arrested on Sept. 13 — the day of the incident — and released that evening, according to police. Court documents don't reveal which Superstore she is accused of stealing from. 

She was charged Wednesday with careless use of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition, unauthorized possession of a restricted firearm, contravention of storage regulations, theft under $5,000 and disguise with intent.

Const. Jennifer McPhee has been suspended with pay. (Halifax Regional Police)

Police did not release her name publicly until the charges were sworn. 

This isn't the first time McPhee has run into trouble with the law. In 2013 she pleaded guilty to a breathalyzer offence and received a curative discharge, meaning she had no criminal record.

McPhee has been suspended with pay, which is in line with the Nova Scotia Police Act.

2 other officers being investigated

Kinsella said last week that criminal charges were also being pursued against two other officers accused of committing crimes in the municipality in recent weeks.

Det. Const. Joseph Farrow, 51, was charged with unlawfully entering a home and sexual assault. The Serious Incident Response Team, the province's police watchdog, said Farrow knew the owner of the home, whom he is accused of sexually assaulting.

He was off-duty when he was arrested and has also been suspended.

A third officer was arrested and released without charges after a domestic incident on Oct. 7 in Eastern Passage. The 35-year-old man was off-duty. SIRT is investigating.