Changing the Term for Commission Members from 3 to 4 years

Resolution Year: 
2016

WHEREAS an additional year added to a commission term would allow for a more effective retention and transfer of information by members, resulting in better succession execution, and

WHEREAS an alignment with municipal governance terms will allow for better synergy with the municipality, promoting a more effective working relationship with the Police Commission.

THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Association of Police Governance urge the Ministry of Alberta Justice and Solicitor General to amend the Police Act 2000 P-17 section 28 (6) to state that “The term of office of a person appointed to a commission is 4 years”.

Background: 

In recent discussion on the challenges associated with effective succession planning for police commissions, it was pointed out that the three year term is a limiting factor when assessing the viability of potential commissioners to serve as Chair, Vice-Chair, or sub-committee Chair. The first year served is just a long orientation process, and it is often only in the second and third year that a commissioner gains enough knowledge and experience to start becoming an effective member.

While a commissioner may choose to put their name forward for a second term, it is not guaranteed that they will be appointed. Also, it should not be assumed that each commissioner will want to serve six years.

This discussion raised the point that a four year term would be much more amenable to identifying and training potential commissioners who would like to serve in an executive role, and that in fact the Municipal Governance Act had recently been amended to change municipal councillors and mayors terms to four years. It was suggested that the Police Act be amended to have commissioner terms align with their municipal counterparts, creating more synergy with the municipality, and a better environment for succession planning.

Note From AAPG Board: The wording of the above noted section currently states:

28 (6) The term of office of a person appointed to a commission is
(a) 3 years, or
(b) a term of less than 3 years, but not less than 2 years, as may be fixed by bylaw.

This section is mirrored in section 23 (7) regarding policing committees and the Board would advocate for a mirror amendment to this section, to ensure consistency in the Police ACt.

Response: 

The department continues to gather input from stakeholders for proposed amendments to the Police Act. This proposal also will be added to the list for further discussion with policing stakeholders.