Legislation Restricts Access to Police Uniforms, Equipment, Vehicles

Legislation that will make it more difficult for someone to obtain items to impersonate a police officer will come into effect May 12.

The Police Identity Management Act will prohibit the use, possession, sale or reproduction of police-issued items by or for others. It prohibits the sale of marked police vehicles and restricts possession of police vehicle decals and police vehicle equipment to authorized individuals.

“The dates of April 18 and 19, 2020, will stay in our collective memory for many years to come,” said Brad Johns, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, today, April 1. “By strengthening our laws around the use of police vehicles, uniforms and other articles, we are taking steps to help prevent such tragic events from happening again.”

The legislation will restrict possession of police items to only those authorized to have them, mainly police officers. The new law will require police agencies in the province to have asset management and disposal policies in place for uniforms, badges, police vehicles, decals and vehicle equipment. This includes a requirement for all retired police vehicles to be decommissioned, with the removal of all equipment, decals and other markings.

Penalties for individuals contravening the act are a fine of up to $10,000 or three months in jail. A corporation found guilty of an offence faces a maximum fine of $25,000. Police can also issue summary offence tickets for violations of the act.

Anyone who has police items to discard should take them to the local RCMP or municipal police department for disposal.

More information on the legislation and how to dispose of police items is available at https://novascotia.ca/restrict-access-police-items-and-vehicles/ or by contacting local municipal police or RCMP.

Quick Facts:
— the Criminal Code of Canada prohibits impersonation of a police officer
— in October 2020, the provincial and federal governments established a joint independent public inquiry into the events surrounding the April 2020 mass shooting
— the Mass Casualty Commission is currently holding public hearings and will make recommendations to the government that could help prevent and respond to similar events in the future

Additional Resources:
Police Identity Management Act: https://nslegislature.ca/sites/default/files/legc/PDFs/annual%20statutes/2021%20Spring/c008.pdf

Nova Scotia Police Act: https://nslegislature.ca/sites/default/files/legc/statutes/police.pdf

Criminal Code of Canada: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-46/

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/r-10/

Source: Release

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