Setting the Record Straight – Responsibilities During a Traffic Stop

Police officers must ensure public and officer safety and carry out their duties with respect and professionalism.

The Fredericton Police Force follows a contemporary community policing service delivery model, as per the New Brunswick Policing Standards.

It is based on principles of partnership, ownership, problem solving and quality of service.  It allows police services to respond to the unique policing needs of the community but it requires an ongoing, collaborative, transparent, proactive and respectful dialogue between the community and the police.

As public servants, police officers do the best they can to deescalate and act professionally while serving the public.  We are all in this together and community safety and well being is everyone’s responsibility.  Working together is fundamental to good public / police relationships.

During traffic stops, motorists and passengers will be asked to stay in the vehicle, roll down the window, keep their hands visible and remain calm and not interfere or obstruct the police.  The driver has a legal obligation to provide a valid driver’s license, the car’s registration and proof of insurance.

On June 11, 2017 members of the Fredericton Police Force initiated a traffic stop for a legitimate traffic violation.  In this particular case, officers were addressing the driver when the passenger interfered in the officer's duties.  The interference of the passenger led to an escalation of the situation and caused unnecessary confusion during an otherwise benign traffic stop, which our officers dealt with as best they could.

As a result of the above, a Police Act complaint, characterized as service and conduct violations, which included a language component, was filed by the driver and the passenger. The New Brunswick Police Commission took carriage of the investigation and Ms. Aldéa Landry submitted her findings.

We respect the findings of the investigation. Ms. Landry is an unbiased, fair, respected third party investigator.

Fourteen allegations against two officers were filed in the complaint. Two allegations against one officer and one allegation against the second officer were sustained.  The other eleven allegations were not upheld because the evidence did not support it.

In order to address the sustained allegations, the officers attended a settlement conference as directed under the Police Act. Due process was followed and the officers were sanctioned accordingly.  Results of the settlement conference are confidential under the Police Act.