Executive Director Appointed for Public Complaints Commission and Serious Incident Response Team
The province has appointed Gregory Gudelot as the civilian Executive Director who will lead the Public Complaints Commission and the newly created Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT). The SIRT is expected to become fully operational in the fall of 2021.
"I'm excited to welcome Mr. Gudelot to his new role as Executive Director of the Public Complaints Commission," Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said. "We could not have asked for a more qualified and dedicated candidate to support our transition to this new model of police oversight."
Gudelot, who is originally from Saskatchewan, has comprehensive experience in the field of civilian oversight gained in his role at the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, where he has been the Assistant Executive Director since 2017. In that role, he has overseen a number of complex investigations and helped shape national standards for police oversight in Canada. Gudelot also has extensive experience in the field of criminal law, having worked as a crown prosecutor and as defence counsel.
"I was born and raised in Saskatchewan and maintain strong ties to the province," Gudelot said. "I am passionate about the topic of civilian oversight of law enforcement, and welcome the opportunity to help bring oversight to my home province."
The civilian-led SIRT will investigate serious incidents involving police officers. Acting under the civilian Executive Director, SIRT members will investigate all matters where a person has suffered a sexual assault, serious injury, or death while in the custody of the police or as a result of the actions of a police officer. The SIRT will ensure Indigenous representation by requiring the appointment of a community liaison of First Nations or Métis ancestry, if the victim is of First Nations or Métis ancestry.
"Mr. Gudelot's leadership skills, expertise in police oversight, and legal knowledge will be tremendous assets to the Public Complaints Commission," Public Complaints Commission Chair Michelle Ouellette said. "I look forward to working with him in service to the Saskatchewan community."
SIRT investigations will apply to municipal police officers and RCMP operating in Saskatchewan, as well as certain prescribed classes of special constables, such as Traffic Officers and Conservation Officers.
"The Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police applauds the progress being made toward the implementation of the Serious Incident Response Team," Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police President Chief Rick Bourassa said. "This enhancement of an already robust civilian oversight of policing model is a positive step forward for all of us in Saskatchewan."
The move to a SIRT model responds to requests for civilian oversight raised by, among others, the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.