Edmonton police finish internal investigations into Const. Dan Woodall's death

All Edmonton police officers directly affected by the 2015 death of Const. Daniel Woodall have been invited to a session Thursday afternoon designed to provide answers and promote healing. 

The invitation to select officers was written by Chief Dale McFee.

A copy has been obtained by CBC News. 

Woodall was shot and killed in the line of duty on June 8, 2015 by Norman Raddatz during the execution of a warrant. Raddatz subsequently set his house on fire and shot himself. 

An investigation conducted by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team cleared the officers involved. An Occupational Health and Safety investigation reached a similar conclusion. 

But it’s taken until now for the Edmonton Police Service to conclude an operational review and a professional standards investigation. 

“It has taken much longer than the service could have predicted or would have liked to complete the necessary reviews and investigations,” McFee wrote to members. 

All the findings will be presented to affected members at a meeting in west Edmonton Thursday afternoon. 

“I am also aware that not being allowed to talk about the events of that day, while the investigations were ongoing, may have negatively impacted your ability to make sense of the tragic events, heal and move forward,” McFee added.

“For that, I am regretful and apologize.” 

The president of the Edmonton Police Association says the lengthy process has taken a serious toll on his members. 

Sgt. Mike Elliott, Edmonton Police Association president, says the lengthy internal investigation process has taken a serious toll on his members. (CBC)

“The men and women on the job, they continue to relive this all the time,” Sgt. Mike Elliott told CBC News. “It’s very difficult to obtain closure when you go through an investigation and you think you can move on with closure and then another investigation occurs.”

Elliott said one invited member contacted him to say he’s just not up to attending the Thursday meeting because he couldn’t face hearing about Woodall’s death all over again. 

“To sit through this again will just be devastating to him,” Elliott said. “And I totally get it.” 

A police spokesperson said 80 members have been invited to the meeting. In his letter, McFee indicated the service has hired outside trained advisors who will lead the members through a restorative process.  

“You will be offered the opportunity to identify how you have felt harmed, how you have been impacted, and to express what you need to further your own healing process,” McFee wrote.

Woodall’s family brought to Edmonton

The police service also flew Woodall’s widow and parents to Edmonton from England this week to provide them with the final findings of the investigations into his death. A police spokesperson said the service is paying for their commercial flights and accommodations. 

Claire and Dan Woodall in an undated photo. (Facebook)

Elliott applauds the move. 

“I’m happy that they were contacted because I think they deserve to know,” Elliott said. “I hope that this doesn’t open up wounds for them and makes it difficult for them to move on as well.”

Claire Woodall has so far not responded to a CBC request for an interview. She and the rest of the family met with McFee Wednesday morning to review the results of all four investigations.

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