**** Justice Media Release
Amendments to Police Act Support Partnership Opportunities for SiRT
Changes to the Police Act introduced today, October 14, will provide more clarity around partnership agreements that enable Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) to act as the independent police oversight body in other regions.
“Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team is highly regarded across Canada for their expertise and professionalism in conducting investigations into serious incidents involving police,” said Brad Johns, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. “We know other regions have expressed interest in collaborating with Nova Scotia for access to independent oversight and support.”
The amendments will enable the Province to enter into partnership agreements with other provinces or territories for SiRT to provide independent oversight of policing in the respective region on a continuing basis.
The changes also make it clear that the director of SiRT will maintain the ability to make recommendations to the Minister of Justice to enter into agreements for SiRT to provide police oversight assistance or conduct investigations in other jurisdictions related to a specific incident or event.
“When there is a serious incident involving police, the public wants answers and expects a thorough, independent investigation. Providing the proper resources are in place, a collaboration between provinces in these instances makes sense and can ensure that, regardless of the location, an independent body is in place to look at what actions police took, decisions made and ultimately, whether the outcome could have been different.”
– Felix Cacchione, director, Serious Incident Response Team
— SiRT is an independent agency that has a mandate to investigate serious matters such as death, serious injury, sexual assault or other public-interest concerns involving the police
— New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have reached an agreement in principle that would have SiRT act as the police oversight body for both provinces
— both provinces committed to make the necessary legislative and policy changes, and the partnership is expected to start in 2022
More information on SiRT is available at: https://sirt.novascotia.ca/
October 4 news release on Nova Scotia-New Brunswick agreement in principle: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20211004001