Halifax police Chief Jean Michel Blais announces retirement

Blais will step down from the role by March 2019.

Blais has served as top cop for nearly six years, will step down by March 2019

Halifax police Chief Jean Michel Blais announced his retirement on Wednesday. He will step down by next March. (Robert Guertin/CBC)

After almost six years on the job, Halifax's top cop is retiring.

Halifax Regional Police Chief Jean Michel Blais will step down from the role by March 31, 2019.

"Leading the dedicated Halifax Regional Police team and serving our community as chief of police have been two of the greatest privileges of my professional life," said Blais in a news release issued Wednesday afternoon. "The decision to retire is not one I made lightly."

Blais joined the police force in 2012 after a 25-year career with the RCMP.

During his time at the helm, Blais grappled with issues including missing drug evidence, findings that black people were three times more likely to be stopped by police than white people and complaints within the police force that employees were not receiving adequate PTSD treatmentBlais himself was diagnosed with PTSD after serving three tours with the United Nations in Haiti.

"Our employees' dedication to service and commitment to our communities has been a constant source of inspiration to me in this role," Blais said in the news release. "We have made great progress together as a team — and I thank all our employees and citizens of Halifax Regional Municipality for this incredible honour to serve."

In the news release, Coun. Steve Craig, the chair of the Board of Police Commissioners, thanked Blais for his service.

"His leadership has played a strong role in positioning HRP and its employees for exceptional service of our community well into the future."