Homicide victims to be named by police going forward
The Edmonton Police Service will return to the old policy of naming homicide victims after autopsy has been completed, provided that it doesn’t compromise an investigation, the identity of the deceased is confirmed, and the next of kin has been notified.
The decision was made public at the Edmonton Police Commission meeting on Thursday afternoon.
Chief Dale McFee says it came about after a report by the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance in April.
Police made the decision not to name all homicide victims in 2017.
“It’s no secret that approach drew some criticism from media, and I felt strongly that we needed to have a fresh set of eyes examine the situation,” said Chief McFee in a news release. “I think the independent research and findings undertaken by the CSKA has accomplished that.”
EPS says the CKSA consulted with representatives from victim advocacy agencies from across the country, as well as 28 municipal police agencies serving populations over 100,000 residents.
“Overall, a majority of the stakeholders interviewed supported the practice of releasing the names of homicide victims,” explained Chief McFee. “The need for policy and consistent practice, however, was high on their list.”
There have been 15 homicides so far in Edmonton this year, including one officer involved shooting. The names of 10 of those victims have been released.
CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson is at the meeting.