Police commission still interviewing for top job after naming new acting chief

By Charlene Tebbutt
July 6, 2018 - 2:00pm

The Prince Albert Police Service has a new interim police chief after the acting chief announced his retirement, but the search for a permanent replacement is ongoing.

The Prince Albert Board of Police Commissioners named Insp. Jonathan Bergen to the position of acting chief Friday morning. Bergen told paNOW that former acting chief, Jeff Rowden, had his last day on the force Thursday.

“We’ve had a recent retirement that’s going to occur, effective at the end of the month, and that was acting chief Jeff Rowden,” Bergen said.

The police board also named Insp. Jason Stonechild to the role of acting deputy chief of the Prince Albert Police Service. 

Bergen said the police service is in a rebuilding phase, noting the administration department has seen several changes in staff recently. Former Police Chief Troy Cooper resigned from the force in January to take the top job in Saskatoon. Bergen, who will mark 20 years with the police force in September, confirmed Friday that he is interested in taking over as chief of police in Prince Albert and has applied for the position.

“We’re all anxious to have a permanent chief named for the police service," he said. "It’s definitely exciting for our organization when there’s change at the top."

Bergen said the police service is currently recruiting for new officers and four new recruits will begin training at the end of July. The service is hiring more officers to start training in January as well.

Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne said it is a requirement under the Police Act to have an acting chief in place until a permanent successor can be chosen. Dionne, who chairs the Prince Albert Police Commission, said the force is looking for someone who can be a leader in the community.

Dionne told paNOW the police commission has two local candidates for the job of police chief, but still has more people to interview before making a decision. He said the commission expects to see a few more officers take early retirement this year, meaning the new chief will be tasked with leading a younger force.

“We want to make sure that we get someone who’s going to move our force ahead for the next five years,” he said. “We need someone that can train and direct and lead that force into the future.”

 

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On Twitter: @CharleneTebbutt

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