Saskatoon Police Chief Clive Weighill is retiring after 11 years on the job.
He made the announcement Tuesday afternoon at a meeting of the police board of commissioners at city hall.
“It’s a great decision for me and my family,” he told reporters shortly after the announcement.
“It’s time for me to start another chapter.”
Weighill has served as a police officer in Saskatchewan for 42 years, starting as a beat cop in Regina in 1975.
He worked his way up through the Regina ranks, eventually serving as deputy chief before being hired as Saskatoon’s police chief in 2006.
His last day will be Oct. 1.
Asked whether he was happy with the legacy he leaves behind, Weighill pointed to work with Indigenous communities and morale within the police service as accomplishments.
“It’s gone from about 23 per cent to over 90 per cent,” he said of morale surveys.
“I’d put that up against any police service in Canada.”
‘Built a bridge’ to Indigenous community
Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Felix Thomas told 650 CKOM he’ll remember Weighill for his efforts to build trust with the Indigenous community in the city.
“I’m kind of disappointed that he’s retiring,” Thomas said.
“What he did was build an important bridge for reconciliation and positive relationships.”
Weighill is lauded for repairing the relationship between the Saskatoon Police Service and Indigenous community after the Neil Stonechild inquiry, changing officers’ approach to situations and engaging in reconciliation projects.
He worked with Thomas to erect a monument to missing and murdered Indigenous women in front of police headquarters in early May, a move Weighill mentioned in terms of legacy.
Search for new top cop begins
Police Board of Commissioners Chair Darlene Brander thanked Weighill for his years of service on Tuesday, saying his work would be remembered for decades to come.
“He’s just legendary when it comes to building relationships in the community,” she said.
“He’s left a great foundation for the city.”
Asked about the search for a new police chief, Brander said the job should attract several top applicants given the state of the police service and new headquarters.
“We’ve got the latest technology, we have great resources and a really committed staff,” she said.
Brander added they would be determining the hiring process once the board has absorbed the news of Weighill’s departure, and they were committed to hiring the most qualified candidate.
Weighill said while he has no idea who will come after him, he hopes they can continue improving on the police service’s reputation.
“They certainly have to keep moving forward when it comes to Indigenous relationships,” he said. “It’s paramount. If the public doesn’t trust a police service, the police service is lost.”