Saskatoon’s board of police commissioners is officially starting its search for a new police chief.
Members of the board announced they’d begin taking applications at a press conference held Wednesday outside police headquarters. They also announced the creation of a public input process on what people would like to see in a new chief.
The search comes as Clive Weighill goes on vacation for the last month of his 11-year tenure as police chief. He announced his retirement from the top cop job in June.
Board chair Darlene Brander told reporters the search is taking a different tone than the one that led to Weighill being hired.
“The city and the police service were looking for a change (11 years ago),” she said.
“We’re at a point now where we’ve got a progressive and modern police service, and we’re looking to take that forward.”
Brander added the search is expected to generate national interest before the Oct. 6 deadline, when the board will begin its selection process.
She said they’re looking for a chief who excels at building relationships with the community.
“The police commission is looking for a leader who is a trusted and effective communicator with the media, the Indigenous community and the new Canadian community,” Brander said.
The new chief would likely take over in the first quarter of 2018. Deputy chief Mark Chatterbok will take over Weighill’s duties until then.
The board of police commissioners is also looking to get the public involved in the search.
An online survey has been set up, asking residents what they would like to see in a new chief.
“One of the central roles of a police commission is to be a conduit between the public and the police service,” board vice-chair Carolanne Inglis-McQuay said.
The four-question anonymous survey asks what attributes, personal values and areas of focus the public is looking for in the police chief.
It also asks what change respondents would like to see implemented.
Inglis-McQuay said board members would use the survey results to refine their decision-making process on hiring a new police chief.