New Brunswick police problems erode public confidence: professor

FREDERICTON - A criminology professor in New Brunswick says the fact that at least 16 police officers in the province have been suspended or fired in the past year is eroding public confidence in police.

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Michael Boudreau of St. Thomas University in Fredericton says the incidents raise doubt about how much trust can be put in frontline officers.

The municipal police force in Fredericton has been the centre of attention with about a half-dozen officers suspended in the past year, including two who were fired in the last month following arbitration.

Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch says these are troubling times, but there are many hard-working officers on the force.

Two officers in Bathurst have been charged with manslaughter after a man was shot inside his car, while the RCMP have eight officers on suspension -- all for discreditable conduct.

The New Brunswick Police Commission is planning a course on values and ethics, but policing consultant Paul McKenna from Nova Scotia says the answer is to weed out problematic individuals at the time of recruitment.



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