Halifax Police Chief Dan Kinsella Announces Retirement Amidst Turbulence and Achievement


Following a tenure of four years, Halifax Regional Police’s Chief, Dan Kinsella, is making the decision to retire. The news of Kinsella’s impending retirement, set to take effect on September 15, was publicized by the Halifax police on Wednesday, anticipating the appointment of an acting police chief.

Gratitude for Kinsella’s dedicated service and commitment to the Halifax Regional Municipality was expressed by Chief Administration Officer Cathie O’Toole. She assured that the municipality, in conjunction with the Board of Police Commissioners, will ensure a smooth leadership transition.

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During his time as chief, Kinsella managed a variety of significant incidents, including the tragic mass shooting in Nova Scotia in April 2020, as well as the August 2021 protests in downtown Halifax following the removal of homeless encampments by city staff. Furthermore, he made a public apology in 2019 on behalf of the Halifax Police for racial profiling and extensive street checks disproportionately affecting the Black community.

Chair of the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners and City Councillor, Becky Kent, paid tribute to Kinsella’s leadership amidst societal turbulence and challenges within the police force, citing the global pandemic, increasing demands for police accountability both domestically and internationally, and local communal tragedies.

In spite of the appreciation expressed, in November 2022, an internal vote involving a majority of Halifax Regional Police accurately reflected a lack of confidence in Kinsella’s capacity to lead, with 96.6% of the participating 84% of the force expressing their doubts regarding his abilities.

Prior to becoming Halifax’s police chief in 2019, Kinsella had an impressive career in law enforcement, spanning 33 years at the Hamilton Police Service. In speaking about his career, Kinsella expressed his deep sense of honor to have served as a police officer and leading HRP, referring to the challenges faced as opportunities for progressive change in the practice of policing.

Finally, Kinsella expressed heartfelt gratitude to his family, acknowledging their unwavering love and support throughout his career.