Driving towards a solution
Police commission head wants meeting on manager vehicles
The head of the police commission in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality said Friday he plans on having a discussion with police Chief Peter McIsaac concerning the need for 13 police managers to all be assigned publicly funded vehicles.
District five councillor Eldon MacDonald said he first learned of the situation Friday in a report carried by the Cape Breton Post.
“In fairness, I think I have to know the whole situation. I need to get more detail,” said MacDonald, when contacted Friday.
“I absolutely want to have the discussion because this is a cause for concern,” he said.
McIsaac confirmed Thursday that his 13 managers have been assigned an unmarked vehicle as part of their job.
The main restriction, he explained, is that the vehicles not be used for personal use. He said managers are deemed to be on- call 24/ 7 so having a vehicle at their disposal is a necessity.
However, the union representing officers takes a different view suggesting that in a cash- strapped municipality, there is little reason for so many vehicles to be assigned to managers.
Costs for gas, insurance and repairs for the vehicle are paid for by the municipality.
Emails between McIsaac and union vice president, Const. Greg Livingstone, on the issue were leaked to media outlets earlier this week.
McIsaac staunchly defends the policy, explaining his managers always go beyond what is expected in their jobs and should have ready access to transportation in the event of being called out to a crime scene.
The officers are represented by the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union.
MacDonald said he wants to reach out to both sides on the issue in order to determine best possible practice when it comes to vehicle use.
The union has proposed that only three vehicles be assigned to senior managers with the remainder being assigned out among the service’s four divisions.
MacDonald said he is also concerned about distribution of the vehicles which is why he wants further information on the situation.
According to a municipal spokesperson, the only other department within the municipality to assign vehicles to managers is emergency services and those vehicles are clearly marked as such.
The municipality also has a fleet of other vehicles in public works and engineering but according to the spokesperson, none are assigned specifically for manager use.