Halifax Appoints First Black Police Chief: Don MacLean Takes Charge

Halifax has made history by appointing Don MacLean as the Acting Chief of Police for the Halifax Regional Police, marking a significant milestone as he becomes the first Black police chief in the force’s history. This landmark development comes as outgoing Chief Dan Kinsella steps down from his role.

Don MacLean’s law enforcement career began in 1993, and he has served as the Deputy Chief of Operations since 2020, overseeing patrol and criminal investigation divisions. Previously, he held roles such as Superintendent of the Patrol Division and the first Diversity Officer for Halifax Regional Police from 2004 to 2006. His extensive experience and commitment make him a fitting choice for this role.

Notably, MacLean co-chairs the Wortley Report Research Committee, addressing bias and systemic racism in policing, following the 2019 report highlighting disparities in street checks. His involvement underscores his dedication to these issues.

MacLean is active in community organizations, serving on the Board of Directors for St. John Ambulance Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island Council and being a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. He also supports the local youth population through his role on the Board of Directors for Phoenix Youth.

MacLean’s contributions to the University of King’s College and his recognition with the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal and the Order of St. John in 2017 demonstrate his commitment to public service.

With MacLean as Acting Chief of Police, Halifax Regional Council plans to start the search for the next permanent Chief of Police in the fall of 2023, with the assistance of an executive search firm and input from various stakeholders.

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