Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Halifax Police Chief Installed, Promises to Be Inclusive, Respectful

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Halifax Police Chief Installed, Promises to Be Inclusive, Respectful

Article excerpt

Police chief promises to be inclusive, respectful


Halifax's new police chief pledged to build "a platform of trust" with the community -- including reaching out to the city's minorities -- as he was installed with bagpipes, drums and an honour guard.

Dan Kinsella, the former deputy chief of Hamilton police, assumed his role in a formal ceremony on Friday.

During the ceremony, the 54-year-old police officer said he is committed to fostering "a respectful and inclusive relationship to develop a platform of trust with members of our communities."

The police force has faced criticisms for its relationship with the city's black population, but Kinsella told reporters he'll be spending time in minority communities to develop strategies to improve the force's image.

"The community needs to have confidence in its police chief and its police service. So we'll be working on that," he said, adding he will begin meetings next week.

"I know there have been some inequalities and negative interactions, so I'm going to work on that with the community."

In March, a report by University of Toronto criminology professor Scot Wortley found African Nova Scotians in the Halifax area were more than five times more likely to be stopped by police. The street checks were found to have had a "disproportionate and negative" impact on the black community.

An internet-based community survey conducted for the study indicated "overall confidence in law enforcement is relatively high," but noted that just 28 per cent of black respondents "trust the police."

Wortley referred to that result as "highly racialized" in his final report.

The survey of 506 Halifax residents was carried out between Sept. 4 and Nov. 29 last year. The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population. …

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