MONTREAL - Montreal police chief Marc Parent says when police are involved in a casualty, other police forces are best-equipped to handle the investigation.

The issue has been controversial lately, with detractors questioning the fairness and transparency of such investigations. 

"I prefer the way of doing it with a police officer,." Parent said in an interview to mark the end of his first year in office.

At the same time, Parent left the door open for some civilian oversight.

"We know that we have to change the perception of police are investigating police," he said. "But I still believe that we can have a mixed team where you have civilians working with police officers that are in my mind the best people to do those kind of investigations."

In June, Montreal police shot and killed a knife-wielding homeless man and an innocent bystander.

The case is being investigated by the Surete du Quebec, and the shootings sparked renewed calls to change the practice of police investigating police.

The Quebec government has said it would reconsider the investigation process.

A push for a more multicultural police force

Speaking with CTV Montreal, Parent said his first year as chief was a positive one but many challenges remain– not the least if which is trying to re-establish public confidence in the force.

As chief, Parent took over a police department in the midst of a labour dispute. A new contract was signed last June with the police brotherhood, and labour relations have turned around.

"We can see they're very proud of what they're doing on the street," he said. "We can feel it now."

Another change involved the anti-gang squad. Parent said some people felt they were being unfairly targeted.

The squad now works directly with the organized crime unit and he said complaints about racial profiling have fallen by more than 50 per cent.

Parent said he'll be working over the next few years to make the police department more multicultural, though he said hiring quotas may not be the answer. The key is restoring public confidence in the force so people will want to join, he said.

"We always try to be the.. mirror of our citizens."