Blue Line

Police chief, who faced calls to resign after refusing to search landfill, to retire

December 8, 2023  By The Canadian Press

Dec. 8, 2023, Winnipeg, Man. – Winnipeg’s police chief is set to retire next year after serving in the role since 2016.

Chief Danny Smyth told the police board he plans to retire on Sept. 3, 2024, after nearly four decades with the force, seven of those as chief.

Smyth also serves as the president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

The police board says in a news release it has formed a recruitment committee to help choose Smyth’s replacement.


Smyth told the police board during today’s meeting it has been an honour and a privilege to serve Winnipeg, and that he will help ensure there is a smooth transition for his successor.

Smyth elicited calls for resignation last year after he said police would not search a Winnipeg-area landfill for the remains of two First Nations women believed to be the victims of an alleged serial killer.

First Nations leaders urged Smyth to step down after he told reporters it was believed the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran ended up in the Prairie Green Landfill in the spring of 2022, but that the chances of finding them were low.

Smyth cited the passage of time and safety concerns as his reasons for not going ahead with a search.

At the time, he said he had no plans to resign and supported exploring other options to recover the remains of Harris and Myran.

The board says Smyth has been dedicated in his role, and is a valued and respected leader in Canadian policing.

Coun. Markus Chambers, who is the board’s chair, says it is seeking an experienced leader who will meet the needs and expectations of the city’s residents.

“The Winnipeg Police Board is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our community,” he said in a release.

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