The government of Canada has appointed a professor of Nigerian origin, Temitope Oriola, as a special advisor on police act review in the province of Alberta.
Reports by authorities stated that Temitope Oriola’s term will last for six months to enable him to guide the Albertan government as he provides independent advice to help the province further develop its criminal justice system.
Temitope Oriola is an Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of Alberta.
Recall that Alberta, a western Canada province, had last August appointed Nigerian-born Canadian, Kaycee Madu, as its Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.
Upon appointment, Madu was charged with the duty of modifying the police act and provincial election finance laws recommended by the select special democratic accountability committee.
The Albertan government said it set the police act review on course last September, since when it has held 13 engagement sessions attended by approximately 200 organizations representing law enforcement, health and social services sectors, municipalities and indigenous communities.
His was followed by almost 15,000 Albertans completing a public survey that covered several topics related to law enforcement, such as the role of police in the community, processes for handling complaints from the public and officer discipline, the government said.
Madu, in a statement, applauded Temitope Oriola’s appointment saying that he’d feed the body from his wealth of experience and knowledge. 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.”
Speaking on his appointment, Pro. Temitope Oriola said he hopes to use his expertise in criminology and as a person of color to entrench “law enforcement practices that rarely rely on force and police organizations that are trusted by all the communities they serve.”
The academic whose expertise straddles policing and the use of force by police, transnational crimes, terrorism studies, resource conflict and social movements added that his goal was to develop a framework for the state police on how to reduce excessive use of force while ensuring officer safety.
“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,” he said.
Prof. Oriola is a two-time Carnegie fellow and recipient of the Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal. He is also president of the Canadian Association of African Studies.