Prince Edward Island has named Cindy Wedge as the province's new police commissioner.
Wedge has been the acting commissioner for several months, but took over the role officially on Aug. 24. She previously worked for 14 years as the province's director of prosecutions.
Wedge says as police commissioner, she has to weigh the expectations of the public with the limitations of her office.
"It's an interesting time for policing," she said. "The level of scrutiny to which they're subjected is increased. When you look at things like handling of mental health calls and use of force and those controversial areas, it creates a very interesting time."
"I think what I bring to the position is an understanding of police work and its limitations, but also an understanding of public expectations. And there's a need for balance between those two sometimes opposing positions."
P.E.I.'s police commissioner provides civilian oversight of municipal police services, the UPEI security service, conservation officers and the Atlantic Police Academy.
The office doesn't oversee the RCMP, which has its own complaint process.
Wedge says many people do not understand what her office can and can't do.
"We're an oversight agency. We're not an agency of first resort," she said.
"Let's say the complaint is something simple like 'the officer was rude to me.' If that complaint came into our office, we would send it to the chief officer of the agency where that police officer is employed. He would have an investigation conducted, he would reach a conclusion on the complaint that would be communicated with the complainant and ... our office.
"If the complainant was not satisfied with that response, they could come to us and then there are further measures that our office can take to further an investigation."
In 2020, the police commissioner's office responded to 17 complaints from the public and 15 requests for assistance.