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Search is on for new Police Chief

Thursday, February 27, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

The search has begun in earnest for a successor to Sault Ste. Marie Police Service Chief Bob Davies.

Chief Davies (pictured) announced in December he will be retiring after 37 years of service with the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, effective June 30, 2014.

Davies has served as Chief since December 1996.

It was announced by Sault Ste. Marie Police Service Board Chair Ian MacKenzie at Wednesday’s Board meeting that Tanya Todorovic of Toronto consulting firm Odgers Berndtson has been brought in to help find a new Sault Police Chief.

The Board will be looking at applicants from within the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service and across Ontario, MacKenzie said.

MacKenzie told reporters that Odgers Berndtson has “a great deal of experience in assisting in the hiring of Police Chiefs across the province.”

Odgers Berndtson is being paid approximately $35,000 to assist Sault Police, though MacKenzie said that figure “isn’t completely finalized yet.”

MacKenzie said Todorovic met with three members of the Board Tuesday, and will be following up by telephone with two other Board members who were not available, including Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Debbie Amaroso.

MacKenzie said Todorovic was given a list of about 36 stakeholders who the consultant may wish to confer with to gather input regarding what those stakeholders are looking for in a new Sault Police Chief.

MacKenzie said the consultant will be meeting with “a dozen or so” of those stakeholders, more if she wishes to.

Those stakeholders include law enforcement agencies, service groups and other entities, including the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Anishinabek Police Service, service groups such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, educational institutions and others.

MacKenzie said: “We’re assuming they (the consulting firm) will have quite a group of potential candidates for us because they’ve been so involved with so many other municipalities looking for police chiefs across the province.”

“Hopefully we’ll get some candidates finalized by the end of May.”

MacKenzie said: “They (the consulting firm) will get to the point where the last two, three or four candidates will come to the Board, and then the Board will make the decision as to who we actually hire.”

MacKenzie said the Board hopes to have a new Police Chief in place by early June, or July 1 at the latest.

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
David Poluck 2/27/2014 9:39:35 AM Report

A question for discussion.
Should applicants for the job be voted on as we do for Municipal council?

mallet 2/27/2014 9:46:39 AM Report

D. P.

As he is not an elected official, no. However I do not understand why they have to have a "consultant", do they not have a H R section at the police board? And why does uncle tom et al have to have a say? All we need is someone who enforces the law. You want someone to be elected, have the Judges elected, maybe then they will do the will of the people, not some personal agenda, that seems to favour the criminal!!
justsomeguy 2/27/2014 10:07:42 AM Report

@Mallett - sorry but you are dead wrong.

A police chief must be a well rounded person across many facets of policing. Enforcement is just one part of it. A police chief is a leader and an innovator.
Many cities have learned & recognized that enforcement alone is an old & ineffective model. We've seen crime statistics changing here - violent crimes, crimes of opportunity. Related to socio-economic factors and (IMO) outdated policing models.

I think a consultant is the right way to go. Policing is complex and has changed a lot over the years where Sault Ste. Marie methodology hasn't for the most part.

I had occasion to work briefly with a police chief in Oakville. I was shocked at what he was involved in and what he did for continuing education. Talk about a forward thinker. SSM police in many ways is outdated and I hope they can bring in an innovator who can bring solutions.
kottage Keeper 2/27/2014 10:16:09 AM Report

$3500.00 to interview and hire a Police Cheif. Lets raise taxes Debbie to assist in the spending like drunken sailors.
Take the 10 top police officers from Ontario and if interested in the position then apply. Interview in house have one of our top notch appointed judges to assist in the hiring process.
Sam C 2/27/2014 10:36:08 AM Report

mallet... I disagree with having judges elected. We see what happens with politicians -- pandering to the most vocal faction, and not necessarily representing the will of the people.

If a judge has to answer to the people, how would that ensure impartiality?

I do agree with justsomeguy -- a Police Chief is not just another cop enforcing the law, but a leader. The public demands a lot from their Police Service, gives them a tremendous amount of grief, and wants the job done for as little cost as possible.

David... an HR department deals in the here and now: contractual obligations, benefits, etc. A consultant would have expertise in recruiting, something an HR department would not. Recruiting is not simply putting an ad in the paper and wading through resumes. There would be targeted efforts to attract a suitable candidate.
kbaybiie 2/27/2014 10:41:17 AM Report

anyone but kates... please
KMF61MCF 2/27/2014 10:48:06 AM Report

The NEW Chief of Police needs to be one from another City. To clean up the corrupt crooked Police force we have in this City.They didn't like Chief Barry King when he was hired and tried to clean it up.Every 5 years Police officers should be relocated.
Powerwise 2/27/2014 11:08:44 AM Report

I believe the new CHIEF of POLICE should be a genuine person of high moral standing not with lies or abusive behaviour.

I do love the brightness of a nice sunny winter day and have poured another glass of hot chocolate.
Powerwise 2/27/2014 11:12:01 AM Report

This is my second glass of hot chocolate on Thursday, February 27th, 2014.
justsomeguy 2/27/2014 11:16:45 AM Report

It's becoming increasingly difficult to have a construction & intelligent conversation regarding news topics on this site.
ddfive 2/27/2014 11:43:09 AM Report

i recomend constible ian aho
Dixiepup 2/27/2014 12:21:16 PM Report

POWERWISE, thanks for putting a whole new perspective on an otherwise crappy day! Good for you. To the naysayers, Bob Davies has been a good chief, he has dealt with many changes in policing over his years and also with all the incoming recruits who are not like the officers in the good old days. The laws in this land has made it almost impossible for officers to do their job, creating an attitude of apathy. He's done the best he could, let him have a peaceful retirement

steve7073 2/27/2014 12:27:30 PM Report

There are many fine officers that belong to the Sault Ste. Marie force. Does it not make sense to hire from within...thus getting someone who has a vested interest in this community?
justsomeguy 2/27/2014 12:55:15 PM Report

Being from the community does not entail a vested interest.

I personally haven't seen any improvements in the policing here and there are definitely improvements to be made.

Do you think that every other police service doesn't face the same or at least similar obstacles? The Soo isn't as alone as many people think.

Funny, the same people who are preaching to hire from within are the same people who are critical of city council and want fresh blood from without.

Personally, I'd like to see someone move into the position from outside the Soo. We could most definitely use a different perspective and I'd like to avoid the risk of falling back into the "old Boys Club" nonsense.
fullstringer 2/27/2014 2:53:15 PM Report

The city will be hard pressed to find a good replacement to fit Chief Davies shoes. He has devoted his entire career to the job and this city. A man of this calibre could have easily moved on to another city and just used this job as a stepping stone.
I just hope that whomever replaces him has the desire and dedication to make the Sault their home and focus on what the city needs and not simply hang around for a few years until something better comes along? We have seen that all to often prior to Davies.
Tag33&1/3rd 2/27/2014 3:57:16 PM Report

Isn't the OPP Commissioner from the Sault? He is retiring soon and he isn't that old! He would be great for the Sault!
fullstringer 2/27/2014 4:11:12 PM Report

The OPP Commisioner is the same age as the Chief Davies. They were in high school together.
Tag33&1/3rd 2/27/2014 4:35:14 PM Report

Oh--thanks Fullstringer..(didn't know)
mjr 2/27/2014 4:36:34 PM Report

Kottage Keeper that was $35,000,but regardless I agree with you 100%.
Tom_Bom 2/27/2014 4:55:08 PM Report

It's time's like this I wish I were a cop. I'd swoop in and make Marijuana possession under 1 ounce the lowest priority and focus more on organized crime and the rash of breakins that have been taking place lately. This is all hypothetical of course.
Norm 2/27/2014 5:26:26 PM Report

Yes there are many good cops on the local force. There's also some not so good, minority of course. Remember the police are a strong brotherhood, closer than some families, I'm sure. When there is questionable behaviour, perhaps coverups, or whatever, they usually stand together. It would be great to hire a strong community minded chief from here or there, that would be a plus I'm sure.
Harpoon 2/27/2014 6:22:10 PM Report

I think that Sault Ste Marie should bring in a new chief from out of town. It should somebody that is in line for a job for a top position with the RMCP . Maybe this would be away to help our police force in our city. As things have to change.
bubba2006 2/28/2014 1:32:35 PM Report

This is how the story will play out....$ 35,000 of your tax money goes to pay a consultant, a group of people sit on the hiring committee, TONS of qualified applicants (some from out of town in other prominent positions), end result: hire Chief's Davies' buddy from a local pool of police officers. Is that a good way to spend your tax dollars?
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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