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Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Reach SiRT Agreement

By Caitlin Snow Feb 8, 2023 | 11:56 AM

Source: SiRT webpage

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have reached a SiRT agreement.

The Serious Incident Response Team is an independent civilian-led agency that investigates serious matters like death, serious injury, domestic violence and sexual assault, or other public-interest concerns, involving police.

“Citizens of both our provinces must have confidence that serious incidents involving police are thoroughly and independently investigated,” said Brad Johns, Nova Scotia Attorney General and Minister of Justice. “Expanding SiRT’s services enhances regional co-operation, promotes public safety and increases public confidence that investigations involving alleged police misconduct are done efficiently and professionally.”

An agreement in principle was established in 2021 but has now become official with necessary legislation and policies.

Both provinces will share, costs, resources and benefits of the service with bilingual services available in both provinces.

Additional resources include a new office in New Brunswick, as well as a new assistant director, three investigators and an administrator, who will all be based in New Brunswick.

The Nova Scotia SiRT director will remain responsible for the overall management of the operation and has the sole authority to decide whether a charge will be laid.

“I am pleased with this agreement between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,” said New Brunswick Public Safety Minister Kris Austin. “It is necessary to instil public confidence in policing. Residents want to know there are checks and balances to police powers, along with accountability. We acknowledge that police officers risk their lives every day they go to work, and that their professions are incredibly difficult. The agreement guarantees impartiality and fairness in any investigations involving a New Brunswick police officer.”

•Since 2017-2018, Nova Scotia SiRT has provided assistance on at least 21 investigations in other Atlantic Canadian jurisdictions through ad hoc agreements under Nova Scotia’s Police Act
•SiRT currently consists of six members, including a director, four investigators and an administrative assistant
•investigations under the agreement will begin once the new premises are leased, new positions are filled and the New Brunswick investigators are trained
•both provinces have made the necessary changes in legislation and related policies

More information about the Serious Incident Response Team: https://sirt.novascotia.ca/


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