The local grand council representing 12 Indigenous bands will have a say in who holds the title of chief police in Prince Albert.
According to Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte, the organization is honoured to be a part of the selection process.
“There’s always been that partnership with the city of Prince Albert,” Hardlotte said. “The partnership is going a little further here. The mayor called and told me he wants the Grand Council to have a seat in the selection process… We’re happy that’s happened; the chiefs are happy they will have a say.”
Hardlotte said he’s fairly certain PAGC will turn to Rick Sanderson, a retired police officer of 25 years and current director of alternative measures to represent their voice during the selection of a new police chief.
The Grand Chief said PAGC was saddened to hear police Chief Troy Cooper is leaving P.A. and wished him all the best in his future endeavours.
“That’s the way the workforce goes, you move up in your job, and he’s done a good job, a wonderful job,” Hardlotte said. “He brought in good programs and also brought in good recruits. We’re sad to see him go.”
The Grand Council will be looking for many of the qualities Cooper had as chief.
Hardlotte said the incoming police chief must be willing to represent all groups of people - Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike. He agreed it’s important to find a candidate who’s willing to embody reconciliation with the Indigenous community and address recommendations made in the past in regard to community policing.
“Troy Cooper really followed through on those recommendations [like the] the hiring of a First Nations member to the police force; that’s important,” Hardlotte said.
Hardlotte said PAGC would host a special event in the near future to honour Cooper’s contributions to the Indigenous community in and around Prince Albert.
On Twitter: @BryanEneas
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