Alberta’s Minister of Justice has appointed Nigerian-born Professor, Temitope Oriola, as special advisor on police act review in the province.
Reports by authorities revealed that Temitope Oriola’s term as special advisor will be six months. This is to enable the erudite Professor guide the government of Alberta by providing independent recommendations that will develop the criminal justice structure of the province.
Temitope Oriola happens to be an Associate Professor of Criminology in University of Alberta.
It should be recalled that Alberta appointed Nigerian-born Canadian, Kaycee Madu, as the province’s Minister of Justice and Solicitor General in August 2020.
Madu was saddled with the responsibility of ameliorating the police act and laws of provincial election finance adviced by the select special democratic accountability committee upon his appointment.
The government of Alberta said the police act review was set in motion in September 2020, since when it has carried out 13 engagement sessions that around 200 organizations that represented health and social services sectors, law enforcement, municipalities and indigenous communities.
The government said Oriola’s appointment was made after almost 15,000 Albertans taking part in a public survey that bordered on several topics connected to law enforcement, like the role of police in the community, processes for handling complaints from the public and officer discipline.
In a statement, Madu lauded Oriola’s appointment and siad that he would feed the body from the knowledge and wealth of experience of Oriola.
He said, “With a body of research and published articles on law enforcement issues, Dr Oriola brings specialized experience and knowledge to reforming policing in Alberta.
“Dr. Oriola’s academic expertise and lived experience will also help us shape the ongoing engagement with diverse and radicalized communities and ensure that our work to modernize policing in Alberta continues to be inclusive.”
While talking about his appointment, Professor Temitope Oriola said he hopes to deploy his criminology expertise and as a person of color to embed “law enforcement practices that rarely rely on force and police organizations that are trusted by all the communities they serve.”
He added that his aim was to create a structure for the state police on how excessive use of force can be reduced while safety of officers is ensured.
He said: “I am pleased to join the team of committed professionals dedicated to retooling the Police Act for the 21st century policing.
“This will provide a socio-legal framework to reduce excessive use of force, ensure officer safety and enhance trust in and legitimacy of police organizations.”
Professor Oriola is the president of Canadian Association of African Studies. He is also a two-time Carnegie fellow and receiver of Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal.