Organized crime in province undergoing a shift, says new RNC chief

Daniel MacEachern dmaceachern@thetelegram.com
Published on March 1, 2014
Premier Tom Marshall announced Friday morning that current Deputy Chief Bill Janes will become the new chief of police for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) as of today, replacing former RNC chief Robert Johnston, who retired from the force Friday after 35 years of service with the RNC. Above, Janes (right), is congratulated by his predecessor Johnston following the announcement at the Confederation Building media centre.
— Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

The new chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says organized crime in the province has become more violent over the last decade.

Former deputy chief Bill Janes, announced Friday morning at Confederation Building as the RNC’s 21st chief, says organized crime has changed in recent years.

“There’s more cocaine than there was 10 years ago, and there’s a shift in terms of a willingness to use violence,” said Janes, who noted that the presence of organized crime means the RNC will need to work closely with the RCMP and community partners.

“They don’t follow police borders and provincial borders and international borders. They cross all those borders, so we have to work in partnership with other organizations.”

Janes said it’s too early to say what his priorities will be as he takes over the top job.

“I think it would be premature to say what the priorities are,” he said. “We’re doing jurisdictional and environmental scans, we’ve had consultations with our managers and we’ll do that with all of our staff. So you need to draw all that information together to determine exactly what your priorities are.”

Janes added, though, that an RNC pilot project to focus on domestic violence will continue, and that the force has had success with intelligence-led policing.

Janes joined the RNC in 1985 and spent time on patrol, in operational support and in the criminal investigation division.

He has received the Police Exemplary Service Medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

He trained at the Canadian Police College, Ontario Police College, the Canadian Emergency Preparedness College and Memorial University’s Gardiner Centre, and holds a bachelor’s degree in arts with a major in police studies from Memorial University.

Premier Tom Marshall, announc­ing Janes’ appointment, also thank­ed outgoing chief Robert Johnston.

“He can enjoy his retirement, secure with the knowledge that under his leadership the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has become a better, more modern police force, with a reputation that ranks among the finest in the world,” said Marshall.

Johnston said the RNC will be in good hands with Janes, and thanked “all the people in the community that support the RNC.”

The RNC needs to maintain public confidence to provide effective service, Johnston said.

“We need to have those relationships,” he said. “They’re critical to our success. For me, as chief of police … the success I’ve had as chief is because I had two extraordinary deputy chiefs working with me, and I had a phenomenal management team support our role as a management team, as an executive, but I think the final word should go to the women and men and the civilian employees of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary — they’re the people that do the work each day.”

dmaceachern@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelegramDaniel