The Yukon’s RCMP division has ended the controversial practice of investigating itself.
On Thursday, the territorial government announced it had struck a deal with the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team to investigate serious incidents involving Yukon’s “M” Division. It has the contract to police the territory.
The Yukon government has been in talks with the civilian watchdog since March.
The Alberta team is currently investigating one case in the Yukon. It involves the October shooting of a Dawson City man accused of attacking officers with a large axe.
The response team is led by a civilian rather than police officer. Clifton Purvis is a Crown prosecutor.
Still, critics in Alberta have accused the group of not being impartial enough. Its investigators largely consist of retired police officers.
But retired officers are in the best position to understand the intricacies of a criminal case, Purvis said in a past interview.
“The public has the right to the best investigation,” he said.
Superintendent Peter Clark, the Yukon’s top cop, has long said that he’d prefer to not have RCMP investigating themselves in the territory. Under his watch, several complaints of wrongdoing have been referred to Outside police forces to be investigated.
The Yukon government will pay for one full-time investigator to be added to the Alberta team. The cost of the deal is expected to be $75,000 this fiscal year and $105,000 per year after that.