The City of Prince Albert has named new members to the Board of Police Commissioners, including the board’s first female civilian chair.
Sheryl Kimbley joins the board of seven as the new chair. Local residents Janet Carriere and Darcy Sander are also new additions, along with city councillors Charlene Miller and Blake Edwards. Mayor Greg Dionne and Brent MacDonald remain on the board.
Ward 7 Coun. Dennis Nowoselsky comes off the Board of Police Commissioners, as do civilian members Jerry Paskiw, Linda Greyeyes-Highway and Patty Hughes.
Kimbley works with the Prince Albert Grand Council as a special events coordinator and volunteers with a number of local youth and arts programs, including the annual Voices of the North musical showcase. Kimbley grew up in Prince Albert and said her family has always made it a priority to volunteer in the local community.
“I want to see everybody prosper in this city and I want to sit on this commission and I look at it as a way of supporting our police and a way of organizing all our agencies to get in here and fight together,” Kimbley said at the announcement Thursday. “It’s not just me that wants to wake up to a better Prince Albert in the morning.”
The Board of Police Commissioners works with the police chief on issues such as budgets, collective bargaining and policy. As the incoming board chair, Kimbley said it’s important to support the work of the police and promote crime prevention and programming for youth, while also building positive relationships with police.
“It’s connecting and making sure everybody knows we’re in this together,” she said. “We can’t just look at our police services and say they’re failing us, and they’re not there for us, and they’re not getting there on time, we have to pitch in and do a lot ourselves.”
The new board appointments are expected to be ratified by City Council at their next meeting Monday night. Mayor Greg Dionne praised the new appointees, saying he feels it’s important to have more community representation, and more women, on the board.
The Board of Police Commissioners is governed by the The Police Act. Each of the board members were interviewed and have knowledge of board procedures and governance models, Dionne added.
In past years, the board of police commissioners was comprised of more city council and police members than civilians, with the role of chair often held by an elected official.
“The last thing you need is a board that think they can micromanage,” he added. “We only have one employee, and that’s the chief of police, and the board directs the chief of police.”
Dionne has said issues with drugs and weapons offences will be among the first priorities as the work of the new board gets underway. The city also announced last week that Jon Bergen will become the next chief of the Prince Albert Police Service, after serving in the role on an acting basis.
“This is not an enforcement problem” Dionne said. “Lots of our problems are social and mental health issues, and that’s why I have such a diverse board because that’s what we have to deal with.”
On Twitter: @CharleneTebbutt
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