Minister must not squander opportunity

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Minister must not squander opportunity for real change at RNC: Conway Ottenheimer
Helen Conway Ottenheimer says Justice Minister John Hogan should not squander his opportunity to make meaningful change at the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC).
Wednesday, October 20, 2021

(October 20, 2021) – Helen Conway Ottenheimer, PC Opposition Shadow Minister of Justice and MHA for Harbour Main, says Justice Minister John Hogan should not squander his opportunity to make meaningful change at the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC).

“For months we have heard repeated stories of difficulties within the RNC, from disturbing allegations of sexual assault, displeasure from rank and file members with RNC leadership, and a lack of new recruits to rejuvenate the police force. Now, this workplace review – which Hogan emphasized is not an investigation – is finally announced after months of delay by the Minister,” said Conway Ottenheimer.

“This review has to be done right. Will this review look at the allegations of sexual assault by police officers? Will the outcome of this report be made public? Will we see new training initiatives introduced into the RNC to help address the systemic concerns? Will independent civilian oversight be considered, as recommended by Indigenous advocates here and across the country?”

Conway Ottenheimer says the Minister must be fully transparent with the nature of this review so the public can understand what issues are being considered through its course.

“The Minister must publicly release the Terms of Reference for the review to allow an understanding of what issues are being examined. Only if this review is thorough and transparent can real change occur and trust be restored in our police force,” said Conway Ottenheimer.

“The Minister has a chance to make real, tangible improvements to policing in our communities, both for officers and the general public alike. He must be bold and seize this moment to make our communities safer for everyone.”

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