A former Edmonton Police Chief is conducting an operational administrative review of the Prince Albert Police Service.

Rod Knecht has been tasked with the independent examination. The appointment comes from the Ministry of Policing and Corrections and is supported by the Prince Albert Police Board and Chief Jonathan Bergen.

“Prince Albert Police are struggling to meet the expectations, to meet the level of calls and the type of calls for service,” said Policing and Corrections Minister Christine Tell.

She said that the review was not triggered by one event. However, police have come under intense scrutiny following the death of 13-month old Tanner Brass in February.

Police were called to a home early on February 10 on a family dispute, where Tanner’s mother was taken into custody. Hours later, officers would return to that same home on a report of a child homicide. Tanner’s father is charged.

Indigenous leaders, including the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations conducted their own investigation  into the death and outlined grave concerns alleging gross negligence and/or criminal negligence and systemic racism on behalf of the Prince Albert Police, in connection to Tanner’s death.

Leaders said Tanner’s mother, Kyla Frenchman, was fleeing domestic violence. Yet when police arrived, Frenchman was arrested for intoxication and police ignored her pleas for help, while asserting that no welfare check was performed on Tanner.  According to the FSIN, Frenchman wasn’t intoxicated and communicated to officers the danger Tanner may have been in.

Two officers were suspended in March as the Public Complaints Commission investigates. Prior to this, Prince Albert Police announced three in-custody deaths.

“What are the issues in Prince Albert because we ultimately want the people of Prince Albert to feel as safe as possible. We need the police to operate at a high level, we need the police to do that,” asked Tell? “They’ve been struggling, as we have witnessed over the last year or so. And there’s been concerns and complaints coming in from the public and they’re not feeling as safe as they should. And every citizen should feel safe in their communities.”