A non-confidence vote in Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Chief of Police Joe Boland has been deemed non-binding by the Department of Justice, but a grievance process is ongoing for the chief.
In early June, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association asked its membership one question: Do you have confidence in the leadership of the chief of police?”
According to the association, approximately 75 per cent of police membership took part in the survey, with approximately 90 per cent of respondents saying they do not have confidence in Boland.
“The non-confidence vote initiated by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association was not undertaken pursuant to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Act, 1992, and as such, is non-binding on the department,” reads an emailed statement from the Department of Justice.
“There are internal processes of complaint resolution identified in both the RNC Act, 1992 and the collective agreement with the RNCA. As an employer, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is required to maintain confidentiality related to employees’ personal information and work history.”
The details of the process now unfolding are not immediately available. According to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Act, 1992, any complaints made against the chief of police are to be referred to a commissioner for review or dismissal of the complaint.
“Chief Boland will not be providing any further discussion while an internal process is underway,” wrote RNC media relations officer James Cadigan.
In a statement issued after the results of the survey were made public, Boland said the vote was “engineered” by the association to “discredit” him as chief of police.
“Simply put, this vote has been promoted by a few individuals who wish to avoid accountability, and by some other officers who oppose the progressive and necessary changes I have made to date within the RNC,” Boland wrote.
“At this time all I can say is we have no comment as we are in discussions with the minister,” Sgt. Mike Summers, president of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association, stated in an email.
In a July 6 news release, the association stated it did not intend to undermine Boland with the survey.
“We understand that this vote, by its very nature, is a divisive process, but we in no way seek to intimidate or coerce the chief from fulfilling his mandate, as we work to represent the women and men of the RNCA,” reads the July 6 release.
“We agree, and believe, that all officers of the RNC should be held accountable and meet the high standards that are represented by the RNC core values.”