A former commanding officer of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary's Corner Brook and Labrador division has been named the police force's interim chief.
Provincial Justice Minister John Hogan has appointed Patrick Roche, a 36-year member of the RNC, to the position as current Chief Joe Boland is due to retire Saturday.
According to a media release from the Justice and Public Safety Department on Monday afternoon, Roche has worked in the constabulary's patrol services and criminal investigation divisions, and served in Kosovo with the international police force.
The announcement comes as sexual assault allegations rock the force, with a St. John's lawyer claiming on Friday that a dozen women had approached her to accuse at least eight RNC officers of sexually assaulting them while on duty.
Hogan nodded to turmoil within the force in Monday's statement.
"Interim Chief Roche is taking on the role during a difficult time in the RNC's history but I am confident he will bring great leadership to the RNC during this transition as we work together to increase public confidence in policing," said the statement.
CBC News requested an interview with Roche through RNC spokesperson Const. James Cadigan on Monday. Roche is not available for interviews at this time, but media requests will be forwarded to him when he officially starts in the role on Aug. 1, said Cadigan.
The Justice Department said Roche will remain in the role of interim chief until a permanent chief is selected through the province's independent appointments commission.