Jon Bergen has been officially named chief of police in Prince Albert, ending months of speculation about who will take over the top job following the resignation of Troy Cooper in January of this year.
Bergen, a 20-year member with the Prince Albert Police Service, will be officially sworn in as chief of police next month. Speaking with media following the announcement, Bergen said he was excited to be taking over the position, and looks forward to continuing the work of past leaders and building positive relationships, both within the force and in the community.
Bergen filled the role of acting chief since July.
“To lead the organization, it’s incredible, it almost doesn’t feel real yet,” Bergen said Monday. “I’ve been in an acting term to get a good feel of what the position is and from that, it gave me a good grasp of what I want the future to look like.”
Bergen grew up in Prince Albert and has worked in a variety of capacities within the force, including the K-9 division from 2002 to 2009, where he was accredited as an expert on police dogs by provincial and Queen’s Bench courts of Saskatchewan. Bergen’s experience as a police dog trainer also took him to the FBI to instruct a seminar with the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team.
Most recently, Bergen oversaw the Criminal Investigation Division with the Prince Albert Police Service, including integrated policing and major crime investigations. He took executive development leadership courses through the Canadian Police College and led strategic change within the police force.
Mayor Greg Dionne made the announcement Monday morning at City Hall. Dionne said at least three members of the police service were interested in the top job along with several other former members, and city administrators wanted to be thorough when making the final decision.
“You just want to make sure that you hire the right candidate,” he said. “This is a very important job for the community, not only just for policing, but for community relations.”
Dionne said issues such as weapons and addictions will be on the agenda for Bergen as he begins his new role. Like other communities around the country, Prince Albert is dealing with challenges stemming from gangs and drugs, he said.
“Our number one threat to our community and our number one enemy is crystal meth,” Dionne added. “Crystal meth is driving the violence, crystal meth is driving the property crime, the assaults, and violence.”
— Charlene Tebbutt (@CharleneTebbutt) November 26, 2018
Bergen is expected to announce his pick for deputy chief and the rest of the police administrative team in the coming weeks.
“It doesn’t just change at the top, there’s change all the way through the organization, and I’m definitely almost more excited to see that," he said.
The city is also expected to announce a new chair of the Board of Police Commissioners next week.
On Twitter: @CharleneTebbutt
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