A ‘thank you’ video for the Prince Albert Police Service police chief after he announced he was stepping down has been taken down due to ongoing harassment.
The police service said Sunday that the harassment was coming from both within and outside the organization.
Chief Jonathan Bergen announced his retirement on Thursday after a third-party investigation report was publicly released showing a neglect of duty in the death of infant Tanner Brass in February 2022.
The result of the investigation left the police chief to decide on any disciplinary action against the officers that attended that night.
However, in a media statement Thursday evening, Bergen said he is unable to accept the responsibility and announced his retirement from the force.
“It is very public knowledge that my decisions as Chief in this matter have become the subject of escalating criticism and personal attack from a specific core of current and past members of the Prince Albert Police Service,” Bergen’s statement read.
“The circumstances of the attacks on my family leave me in a position that, if I were to accept the responsibilities on me as Chief of Police under the Investigation Report released today – to discipline members, or to further investigate supervising members – it could be misrepresented as biased and influenced by the manner in which my family has been treated.”
Bergen said he faced backlash from members of the PAPS when he decided to suspend the two officers involved pending the review.
“The Service has left those members unsupported and vulnerable,” he said. “These decisions have been personally difficult for me, as have other decisions that I have made that have motivated a very persistent and extraordinary assault on my character, harassment of my family, and criticism of members of my executive team over the past 3 years.”
Bergen’s retirement date is May 31. An interim police chief is being arranged with the Saskatoon Police Service.
— with files from Brooke Kruger
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