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NSOR Press Release to Community

Tue October 16, 2018

To the residents of Saint John:

The Saint John Board of Police Commissioners, the Saint John Police Force and the community are concerned that places of residence of some clients of the National Sex Offender Registry have not been checked over the past couple of months.  As an organization, your safety is of utmost importance.

Details relating to this were presented by the Saint John Police Force in an open session of the Saint John Board of Police Commissioners meeting held on October 2, 2018 - during an open and transparent presentation to the Board by the Sergeant in charge of the Family Protection Unit.  This was not done “in private” as reported by the Telegraph Journal (story by reporter Barbara Simpson - October 5, 2018, and Telegraph Journal editorial - October 10, 2018).  The reporter and cameraman were present taking notes and pictures during the open session.  This is only noted concerning the accuracy of the editorial and to emphasize transparency of the Police Force (to the extent permitted by law).  The press and community should hold us accountable for our actions or in this case, our inactions.

As your Chief of Police, I can assure you that operational change is being implemented - on a go forward basis - as to how these checks can best be performed to meet community needs.  I will accept nothing less.  I know from my conversations with the Police Commission that – as a Board - they will accept nothing less from me.

The Saint John Police Force is an organization that handles approximately 70,000 calls of service each year (not including member initiated files - or fully reflecting the files that require years of work).  We will make mistakes, we are all human.  It is what we learn from and do about our mistakes on which we should be judged.  The environment in which we work constantly changes and adapts; the Saint John Police Force will change and adapt.  Continuous improvement is a guiding principle.

Saint John is a good place to live, work, visit and invest - with a growing vibrant uptown, neighbourhoods filled with people who care and smart talented youth.   As an organization, the men and woman of the Saint John Police Force work hard each and every day - whether it is in a priority neighbourhood, teaching D.A.R.E. in the school system, responding to 911 calls, or traffic enforcement.  The mission is to keep us all safe.

As your Police Chief, I am determined and committed to doing everything I can to make the Saint John Police Force the best it can be – a police force that our community is proud of.

Thank you.

Bruce Connell
Chief of Police
Saint John Police Force