Chief Jean-Michel Blais, M.O.M.
Jean-Michel (JM) Blais is the Chief of Halifax Regional Police, a position he has held since 2012. In this role, he has reoriented the senior ranks of the organization and spearheaded a 10-year Strategic Plan.
Chief Blais began his policing career in 1988 in the RCMP, which saw him work in Québec, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia in the areas of municipal, provincial, aboriginal and federal policing. He also worked in the RCMP’s disciplinary tribunal as a chief adjudicator and chief prosecutor.
He was also seconded to the United Nations in Haiti as a frontline police officer in 1995 and as the Deputy Police Commissioner in charge of operations in 2008. In 2010, following the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti, he returned there to lead the recovery of two Canadian police officers and the senior management of the United Nations mission who had perished in the collapse of the UN headquarters. In October 2012, after twenty-five years in the RCMP, Jean-Michel retired from the RCMP at the rank of Chief Superintendent to become the fourth chief of Halifax Regional Police.
He’s actively engaged in the community on The Salvation Army Advisory Board and on the Board of Directors of United Way Halifax. In 2014 and 2015, he was the co-chair for the United Way’s Charitable Workplace Campaign, helping to raise more than 12 million dollars.
Chief Blais has two degrees, one in political science and economics from McGill University and another in law from Université Laval in Québec City. He has published several works on international and national police-related topics, including organized crime, Internet child pornography, human rights, the rule of law in Haiti, aboriginal law and the use of human sources in policing. He has also lectured extensively on leadership and modern police management, with emphasis on dealing with problem employees, unexpected events, the legal obligations of the employer, sustainability of policing in Canada and mental health in policing.
Chief Blais was invested into the Order of Merit of the Police Forces in 2014.
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Deputy Chief Robin McNeil, M.O.M.
Robin McNeil was sworn in as Deputy Chief of Police in May 2017.
He began police training in 1988, and his experience includes progressive roles in patrol, investigations, training and administration. Prior his promotion to Deputy Chief, he served as the officer-in-charge of the Patrol Division. Internationally, Deputy McNeil first served in Hannover, Germany in 2000 as part of EXPO 2000. In 2012, he was seconded to the RCMP and the Government of Canada to work in Afghanistan and then again in 2015 for a short-term assignment in Ukraine.
Deputy McNeil’s professional affiliations include the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy Associates and the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association (NSCPA). A lifelong volunteer, he’s currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Nova Scotia, an executive member of the NSCPA, a member of the CACP Ethics Committee and a member of the National Port Security Committee.
Deputy McNeil graduated from Athabasca University with a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Management. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy as well as The Master Class on Police Reform through the International Security Sector Advisory Team. He has been a recipient of a number of awards for his work domestically and internationally, including being invested in the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.
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Superintendent Jim Perrin
Superintendent Perrin is the officer-in-charge of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division, which encompasses all investigative units – general investigations, homicide and cold case, sexual assault, drugs, guns and gangs, missing persons – as well as various support units, including forensic identification, digital forensics, criminal intelligence and crime analysis.
He began his policing career in 1989. He has had varied assignments including general patrol, various street crime units and investigative units. Since being promoted to the rank of superintendent in 2009, he has held the positions of Divisional Commander and officer-in-charge of the Support Division. He was also a member of the Emergency Response Team for 10 years, a unit he later oversaw as the senior officer in charge of this specialized unit.
Superintendent Perrin sits on the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Law Amendments Committee. He has volunteered for several years for local amateur sports including coaching girls’ minor hockey and soccer, and serving in board of director roles with amateur sporting organizations.
He has completed certificate programs at both Dalhousie University and Saint Mary’s University.
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Superintendent Brenda Young
Superintendent Young is the officer-in-charge of Administration. She oversees human resources, training, finance, fleet and information management.
She began her policing career in 1988, serving two years with Toronto Police Service before returning to Halifax to work in policing here at home. Since that time, she has worked in many areas, including patrol, media relations, vice, drugs, training and audit and policy/quality assurance. Superintendent Young was the course coordinator for the 2007 in-house Police Science Program. Prior to her appointment as Officer-in-Charge of the Administration Division, she served as Divisional Commander of East Division.
Superintendent Young sits on the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Human Resources and Learning Committee, and is the Treasurer of the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association. She’s also a Level 2 Critical Incident Commander. Outside of policing, she has volunteered with The Boys and Girls Club of Dartmouth as a board member as well as with The Salvation Army and Girl Guides of Canada.
Superintendent Young holds a Bachelor of Arts and an Honours Degree from Dalhousie University. She received a Women of Excellence Award from the Canadian Progress Club Halifax Cornwallis in 2011 and was honoured with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Honourable Geoff Regan, MP in 2012.
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Superintendent Don MacLean
Superintendent MacLean is the officer-in-charge of the Patrol Division, a position he has held since May 2017. He oversees all uniformed operations, including specialized teams such as emergency response, crowd control, community policing as well as the mounted, traffic, marine and the aviation security units.
He began his policing career in 1993 and served as the first Diversity Officer for Halifax Regional Police from 2004-2006. As a member of the Executive Management Team, he also served as a Divisional Commander, Executive Officer to the Chief. Prior to his appointment to officer-in-charge of the Patrol Division, he served as the Human Resources Officer.
A life-long resident of Halifax, Superintendent MacLean serves as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for St. John Ambulance NS/PEI Council as well as on the Board of Directors for the Community Justice Society and Africville Heritage Trust. He’s also a member of the Board of Governors for the University of Kings College and has received an appointment as an Honorary Aide-De-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. He’s an active member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, chairing the Professional Standards Committee.
Superintendent MacLean attended the University of King’s College and has continued his education through Saint Mary’s University Executive and Professional Development, Dalhousie College of Continuing Education, Canadian Police College and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
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Superintendent Colleen Kelly
Superintendent Kelly is the Executive Officer to the Chief of Police, a position she has held since 2015. She oversees professional standards, internal oversight, policy and business initiatives, and holds the role of disciplinary officer.
She began her policing career in 1989 and has worked in many areas of policing, including patrol, vice, drugs, forensic identification and criminal operations. Superintendent Kelly became the team leader for the Explosive Disposal Unit in 2004, the first female officer to assume this position in Canada.
In 2009, she became the first female officer to be promoted to the rank of Superintendent and has served in a variety of areas including Central and East divisions, support and community projects.
Superintendent Kelly is chair of the Halifax Regional Police Recognition Board and a member of the Victims of Crime Committee for the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. She has studied at St. Mary’s University and has received several certifications from the Canadian Police College.
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Inspector Jim Butler
Inspector Butler is the Operations Support Officer, overseeing a number of units that directly assist day-to-day patrol operations.
He joined Halifax Police Department in 1992, serving in various operational positions in both the patrol and criminal investigation divisions. As he was promoted through the ranks, he served as Watch Commander, was responsible for Professional Standards and later returned to the Criminal Investigation Division where he was the officer-in-charge of special enforcement, then general investigations and finally special investigations. Prior to his appointment to Operations Support Officer, he served as the police service’s first-ever Information Management Officer.
Inspector Butler has been part of several committees and associations throughout his career, including the Colour Guard and the Municipal Association of Police Personnel (now Halifax Regional Police Association), for which he served as a member of the executive for three years. He also served on the Public Safety Unit for 12 years, including two as team commander.
He has also been actively involved as a parent, supporting his children’s endeavours in baseball, paddling and swimming. He served on the club executive of the swim team as well as an official during swim meets.
Inspector Butler possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dalhousie University and has also completed many courses through Saint Mary’s University, Dalhousie University and the Canadian Police College.
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Inspector Don Moser
Inspector Moser is the police service's Operational Planning Officer. In this role he oversees the Research Coordinator, Policy and Business Initiatives Coordinator and Emergency Planning Administrator.
He began his policing career in 1992, holding various roles within and outside the organization during his tenure. He has worked in both the Patrol and Criminal Investigation Division as a constable, supervisor and watch commander. He worked in Professional Standards prior to becoming the first seconded Halifax Regional Police officer to the Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT), during which he assisted in establishing the independent police oversight agency and served as an investigator. Prior to his appointment as the Operational Planning Officer, Inspector Moser served as Divisional Commander of East Division.
Inspector Moser served on the Emergency Response Team for 11 years and was commissioned as an Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. In 2014, Don was named the first-ever Departmental Sergeant Major at Halifax Regional Police and, as a senior officer, continues in an advisory role on such issues as protocol, dress and deportment. He actively serves on various committees and associations, including the Nova Scotia Fallen Peace Officers’ Memorial Committee, Halifax Regional Police Wellness Committee, Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association and the Canadian Association of Police Ceremonial Units.
Inspector Moser is a graduate of Dalhousie University where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in police science. He subsequently received various certificates from both Dalhousie University and the Canadian Police College. He was a co-recipient of the Halifax Regional Police Investigator of the Year Award, a Halifax Regional Municipality Director’s Award for Leadership and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
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Inspector Reid McCoombs
Inspector McCoombs is the officer-in-charge of Human Resources and Training.
He began his policing career in 1989. He has served in patrol, criminal investigations and administration as a constable and a supervisor, and worked on secondment with the Serious Incident Response Team. He was a member of the Emergency Response Team and remains an active Critical Incident Commander. Prior to his appointment as the Human Resources Officer, he served as the Operations Support Officer.
Inspector McCoombs is a past member of the National Mass Marketing Fraud Working Group as well as the Halifax Regional Police Colour Guard and Diversity Action Team. He currently volunteers as a coach for the Nova Scotia Women’s Hockey League.
He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Human Resources Management) from Saint Mary’s University along with numerous courses from Dalhousie University and the Canadian Police College.
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Inspector Richard Lane
Inspector Richard Lane is in his 28th year of policing, having begun his career as a patrol officer at the Wolfville Police Department in 1990. He is currently Divisional Commander of Halifax Regional Police East Division. In this role, he’s responsible for the day-to-day police operations for Dartmouth.
Inspector Lane served two years in Wolfville before joining the Bedford Police Department in 1992. Soon after the inauguration of Halifax Regional Police in 1996, Inspector Lane became part of its Criminal Investigation Division, achieving the rank of Sergeant in 2001.
Since that time, Inspector Lane served in the Community Relations and Crime Prevention Section for three years, during which time he was promoted to Staff Sergeant before becoming Divisional Commander of Halifax Regional Police West Division. He returned to the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division in 2007 as Staff Sergeant-in-Charge of the Special Enforcement Section, moving on to become the Staff Sergeant-in-charge of the Special Investigation Section in 2010. In December 2011, he became one of the first Intrusion Commanders for Halifax Regional Police, doing covert installations.
Inspector Lane has been a member of many committees and boards including The Diversity Action Team and The Recognition Review Board. He is also the recipient of a life-saving medal from the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.
Inspector Lane holds a Criminology Certificate from Saint Mary’s University and several other administration and leadership certificates from Saint Mary’s and Dalhousie Universities.
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Inspector Andrew Matthews
Inspector Matthews serves as the police service’s Information Management Officer. In this role, he oversees Integrated Emergency Services (9-1-1 Public Service Answering Point and dispatch centre for Halifax Regional Police, Halifax District RCMP and Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Service), police technology, courts, records and traffic support services. He’s also responsible for managing the police records management system, the police radio system and the third-party contract with Commissionaires Nova Scotia.
He joined Halifax Regional Police in 1999 after graduating from the Atlantic Police Academy and serving for a short stint with the Truro Police Service. Since then he has been assigned to various operational positions in the Patrol Division as well as the Criminal Investigation Division where he supervised sexualized violence investigations for over three years.
In 2005, Inspector Matthews traveled to the Gambia as part of the team that provided training in community policing and restorative justice to the Gambian National Police through a partnership between Mount Saint Vincent University, the Nova Scotia Gambian Association and Halifax Regional Police. Prior to his appointment to as Information Management Officer, he was served as a Watch Commander in the Patrol Division.
Inspector Matthews was a member of the Public Safety Unit for 10 years and is currently coordinating the Critical Incident Command program for HRP. He has served on several committees and associations, most notably the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.
Inspector Matthews possesses a Certificate in Police Service Delivery from Dalhousie University and has also completed many courses through the Canadian Police College.
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Inspector Dean Simmonds
Inspector Dean Simmonds began his law enforcement career in 1997, serving as a community constable with the RCMP. Determined to dedicate his life to serving the community, he accepted a position with Halifax Regional Police in 2001.
Inspector Simmonds was named Cadet of the Year in his first year and was subsequently honoured as Police Officer of the Year in 2007. Inspector Simmonds has worked in many operational and investigative units including the Guns and Gangs Unit of the Special Enforcement Section and the Community Response Crime Prevention Unit. Also, he served as the Diversity Equity Officer between 2008 and 2012
He has been recognized as instrumental in multiple complex homicide and human trafficking investigations, particularly for uncovering pivotal intelligence through his criminal knowledge and interviewing expertise. Inspector Simmonds is often sought out by outside agencies that recognize his unique knowledge and skill-set.
Inspector Simmonds is committed to expanding his professional development by completing programs through Dalhousie University, Hensen College and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He continues to have a major leadership role in developing and implementing various workshops and training programs on diversity, workplace equity, human rights and leadership.
Inspector Simmonds has served as a member of HRP Strategic Planning Team, HRP/RCMP Integrated Cultural Diversity Committee, and Race Relation Advisory Committee for the past eight years. He is also a board member of Basketball Nova Scotia. He continues to remain a dedicated community member both personally and professionally and is active in the community, providing mentorship programs and community lead initiatives focusing on diversity and leadership.
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Inspector Stephanie Carlisle
Inspector Stephanie Carlisle is the Divisional Commander of Halifax Regional Police West Division. In this role, she’s responsible for the day-to-day police operations of the communities from Fairview through to Bedford as well as the Sambro Loop and at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
She began her law enforcement career in 1999 after graduating from the Department of Justice/Halifax Regional Police Science Program in 1998. During her time in the Patrol Division, Inspector Carlisle worked in several sections including the Community Relations and Crime Prevention Section as a School Response Officer and Community Program Officer. She was also a member of the recruitment and diversity teams, Public Safety Unit and the first female member of the Traffic Unit. She transferred to the Criminal Investigation Division in 2007 where she was an investigator with the Sexual Assault Investigative Team (SAIT). While in SAIT, she was a member of the Child Youth Advocacy Centre steering committee and an instructor of the Trauma Informed Response to Sexualized Violence course.
She was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2011 and assigned to the Patrol Division where she was a supervisor for four years. In 2015, she transferred back to the Criminal Investigation Division as one of the Sergeants in charge of SAIT. She achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant in 2017 and was assigned to the Patrol Division as a Watch Commander.
Inspector Carlisle holds a Bachelor of Recreation Administration from Dalhousie University.
Dr. Chris Giacomantonio
Chris has been the Research Coordinator since 2016. His role is to improve decision-making through the strategic use of research evidence and the promotion of research literacy at Halifax Regional Police. He is also the Atlantic Regional Coordinator for the Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing and acts as a point of contact for academics and other researchers.
Prior to joining Halifax Regional Police, Chris worked as a Senior Analyst with the European offices of the RAND Corporation, a not-for-profit policy research institute based in Cambridge, United Kingdom. While in this role, he conducted research for UK-based institutions including the College of Policing, Association of Chief Police Officers, Ministry of Justice, Department of Health and European Commission.
Chris holds a Ph.D. in criminology from the University of Oxford, a Master of Arts in sociology from Dalhousie and a Bachelor of Arts in criminology from Simon Fraser University. He has previously had research funded by major granting councils and awards in the UK, US and Canada, and has published peer-reviewed research on a range of topics including policing, violence prevention and public financing models. He has also published a book on integrated policing in Canada, which was the topic of his doctoral research.
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Neera Ritcey serves as the Public Relations and Communications Manager for Halifax regional Police. Her role includes leading HRP’s external and internal communication strategies, providing strategic counsel to the organization, fostering community relationships and communicating the priorities of the police service to its citizens.
Neera brings extensive experience in integrated communications, stakeholder engagement and media relations to this role. Before joining HRP, she held progressive roles at Nova Scotia Power and Emera Inc. where she led a variety of communications initiatives involving both traditional and digital media audiences as well as diverse stakeholder, professional and community groups. Neera spent nearly seven years working with the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, starting as a Constituency Assistant and progressing to the role of Press Secretary to the Leader of BC’s Official Opposition Caucus.
Neera holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations (with Honours) from Humber College in Toronto. She has completed the CIRI/Ivey Investor Relations Certification Program with the Ivey Business School at Western University. Neera holds a bachelor of arts and a master of arts from Panjab University in India.
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Andrew Kozma joined Halifax Regional Police in the newly-created role of Chief Information Security Officer in June 2018. Andrew brings to this role extensive experience in cybersecurity as well as network and security infrastructure design and implementation with leading public and private sector organizations. He has a proven track record of delivering solutions while leveraging Six Sigma methodologies across a wide range of organizations and technical environments. In addition to his professional roles, Andrew is a founding board member of the Atlantic Security Conference, an annual event that helps bring together professionals from the cyber-security sector in Halifax. He also volunteers his time with the Halifax Area Security Klatch. He has earned a variety of IT systems security and CISCO certifications and is a certified Six Sigma Project Methodologies Green Belt.
The CISO is a key role within HRP’s leadership team. As the field of IT security and delivery evolves, HRP has an obligation to demonstrate leadership in its adoption of digital technologies as well as in our approaches to identify, respond to and prevent crime. The hiring of Andrew as HRP’s CISO is another step in that direction. Through his knowledge of cyber-security principles, project management experience as well as network security threat assessment and architecture planning expertise, he is responsible for developing HRP’s strategic view of IT service delivery, security and operations. He also acts as HRP’s senior IT resource as well as liaison for IT related matters with Halifax Regional Municipality and various partner agencies.