Edmonton’s police commission has asked the chief to stay on until the end of June 2024 by extending his contract by nearly two-and-a-half years.
Chief Dale McFee’s contract was set to expire in January 2024. But the commission opted to prolong his tenure to give McFee and Edmonton Police Service more time to follow through on plans to reform the department through the Vision 2020 strategy, with some of its 75 recommendations still being in the early stages and needing time to get rolling, reads a Tuesday news release.
The commission called McFee “an internationally recognized innovator and executive leader” that’s helped restructure and reorganize the department and its resources.
“There is a lot more to do and we wanted to ensure we secured Chief McFee as we journey down this path of continuous improvement for the Service and the residents of Edmonton,” commission chairwoman Micki Ruth said in the release.
The pandemic and “social movements around police reform and calls for defunding” through 2020 and 2021 constrained EPS’ ability to effectively put the recommendations in place, the commission said.
Vision 2020 and the community safety and well-being bureau, the commission said, are helping lay foundations for reducing demand for service and “support individuals to break free of the arrest-release-remand cycle” and diverting people from the criminal justice system.
Three main goals of Vision 2020 include: to maintain and improve core policing that reduces crime, disorder and victimization; work more with outside social service and community agencies to help people get out of crime cycles; and organizational restructuring.
The commission said it’s proud of what the chief has achieved so far and McFee deserves to be recognized for this effort, “and to ensure his presence in Edmonton over the long term to continue to drive his positive vision for the future.”