New Acting Chief for Halifax Regional Police appointed by regional council

HRP file photo.

From an HRM press release

HALIFAX: Councillors with Halifax Regional Council approved the recommendation by the Board of Police Commissioners to appoint Don MacLean as the Acting Chief of Police on Sept. 12.

MacLean, who is currently Deputy Chief of Operations, assumes the position on Sept. 16 following the retirement of Chief Dan Kinsella on Sept. 15. 

The municipality will begin the search for the next Chief of Police in the fall of 2023.

An executive search firm will be secured through a standing offer to work with the Chair of the Board of Police Commissioners, Chief Administrative Officer and search committee to recruit a new Chief of Police.


The search committee, through the executive search firm, will engage a broad range of stakeholders within the Halifax Regional Municipality and Halifax Regional Police.

That will be used to gain insights for the hiring process – in particular, regarding the current challenges and opportunities facing HRP and the attributes for a successful candidate in the role of Chief of Police.

Following an executive search, which is expected to take a number of months, Halifax Regional Council will be presented with a recommendation by the Board of Police Commissioners to approve the appointment of the Halifax Regional Police Chief.


Bio for Deputy Chief Don MacLean:

Deputy Chief Don MacLean began his policing career in 1993. Since 2020 he has held the position of Deputy Chief of Operations, overseeing both the patrol and criminal investigation divisions.

Prior to serving as Deputy Chief, he was the Superintendent of the Patrol Division. Deputy Chief MacLean served as the first Diversity Officer for Halifax Regional Police from 2004 to 2006 and went on to become the Executive Officer to the Chief and later the Human Resources Officer.

A lifelong resident of Halifax, Deputy Chief MacLean is a long-serving member of the Board of Directors for St. John Ambulance Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island Council, is an active member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police as well as on the Board of Directors for Phoenix Youth.


He currently serves as the Co-chair of the Wortley Report Research Committee, which consists of community stakeholders and partners doing important work to address bias and systemic racism in policing. He’s also a member of the Board of Governors for the University of King’s College and has previously received an appointment as an Honorary Aide-De-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia.

Deputy Chief MacLean was invested into the Order of St. John in 2017, and recently became the recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal.

He attended the University of King’s College and has continued his education through Saint Mary’s University Executive and Professional Development, Dalhousie College of Continuing Education, Canadian Police College and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.