New Legislation Strengthens Laws on Police Impersonation

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**** JUSTICE Media Release

New Legislation Strengthens Laws on Police Impersonation
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New legislation will restrict access to police items, making it more difficult for someone to impersonate a police officer.

The Police Identity Management Act, introduced today, March 11, will strengthen existing legislation by prohibiting the sale, reproduction or possession of police issued items by or for others. It prohibits the sale of marked police vehicles and restricts possession of police vehicle decals and police vehicle equipment to authorized individuals and uses.

“In April 2020, Nova Scotia endured a tragedy that few can comprehend. The lives of 22 innocent people were lost and our province was left traumatized and heartbroken,” said Randy Delorey, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. “By strengthening our laws around the use of police vehicles, uniforms and other articles, we are taking steps to help prevent such events from happening again.”

The legislation covers the use, management, possession, sale and reproduction of police-issued items. It also requires police agencies in the province to have asset management and disposal policies in place for uniforms, badges, police vehicles, decals and vehicle equipment. This includes a requirement for all retired police vehicles to be decommissioned, with the removal of all equipment, decals and other markings.

Police asset management and disposal policies must include:
— a process for tracking items
— a requirement for police issued items retained by former or retired officers to be made unserviceable
— a process for individual citizens to forfeit, or have permanently altered, any currently used police issued items they own

Quotes:
“The events of last April have weighed heavily on the hearts of those of us in uniform, and all Nova Scotians. I certainly stand behind government’s efforts to help prevent a similar tragedy and re-establish confidence in the symbols that identify police officers in our province.”
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ – Julia Cecchetto, president, Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police

Quick Facts:
— current legislation, including the Nova Scotia Police Act and the Criminal Code of Canada, already bans the use of police items to impersonate a police officer
— the provincial and federal governments have launched an independent public inquiry into the events surrounding the mass shooting. The public inquiry will look to identify areas for additional changes to further enhance public safety
— on Jan 22, the federal government announced the suspension of the sale of all surplus RCMP vehicles while it reviews the process

Additional Resources:
Nova Scotia Police Act: https://nslegislature.ca/sites/default/files/legc/statutes/police.pdf

Criminal Code of Canada: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-46/

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/r-10/

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