A former Crown prosecutor will lead the province’s new independent investigation unit, Justice Minister Ross Landry announced today, Sept. 27. Ron MacDonald has been appointed as the first director of the Serious Incident Response Team, which will investigate incidents involving police. “Ron MacDonald’s extensive background, along with his personal integrity, will make him an excellent first director of the Serious Incident Response Team,” said Mr. Landry. “The director is a key piece as we create an independent unit that will give Nova Scotians utmost confidence in the investigation of serious incidents involving police.” A graduate of St. Francis Xavier University and Dalhousie law school, Mr. MacDonald has been a Crown prosecutor, a defence lawyer and a leader in the legal community. He joined the bar in 1985 and became a Crown prosecutor in 1991. He was named a Queen’s Counsel in 2002. He has been president of the Canadian Federation of Law Societies and the Nova Scotia Barristers Society. Most recently, he was seconded to the Department of Justice as its criminal law policy advisor. His five-year term begins today. “This is a new phase in policing in Nova Scotia, and I am very pleased to be a part of it,” Mr. MacDonald said. “SIRT will earn the trust of Nova Scotians with its thorough, transparent and independent investigations of police.” The team will investigate matters such as death, serious injury, sexual assault or other public-interest concerns involving police. It can independently launch an investigation or begin an investigation after a referral from a chief of police, the head of the RCMP in Nova Scotia or the Minister of Justice. The team will have a director, two civilian provincial investigators, seconded police officers as required and administrative support. Decision-making authority will reside with the civilian director. It is expected to be operational early next year.