Time to review chief, mayoral candidates say
Rick Vanderlinde Simcoe.com Oct 14, 2010
INNISFIL – Innisfil’s mayoral candidates both say it’s time to consider changing the leadership at South Simcoe Police.
Choosing their words carefully during wide-ranging separate interviews on a number of topics, Gord Wauchope and Barb Baguley agreed it may be best to see an end to Bruce Davis’s 15-year run as chief.
Davis faces charges under the Police Services Act in connection with the “unlawful” dismissal of an officer in 2008.
Wauchope, a retired Toronto police officer, said the chief’s tenure has run its course and it’s time for the police services board to consider other options.
“It’s a great police force,” Wauchope said. “But there has to be a change in leadership. After that many years at the top of an organization, you become stagnant. I hope we can do this sensibly.”
Baguley told the Journal the chief’s position should be reviewed as the town studies the entire force to see whether Innisfil should contract another police service, such as the OPP.
“It’s not meant to be a job for life,” Baguley stated. “It’s not a criticism. But leadership should be part of any contract review.”
Davis has an open-ended contract that was secured when Bradford and Innisfil police amalgamated in 1997.
Both candidates said they believe the chief’s position should have a five-year contract.Davis told the Journal it would be inappropriate for him to comment during the municipal
election campaign.Davis is the second-longest serving chief in Ontario and is a past president of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.
A five-year contract is the norm for most police chiefs in Ontario, the association’s director of communications Joe Couto said.
“There are chiefs that have been on the job 10 to 15 years, but the trend now is for newer chiefs coming up to be there not as long,” he said.
“Chiefs leave for different reasons. With the pension contributions it doesn’t pay to stay if you’ve been there for 30 years, and you’re still young enough to go on to do other things.”
Meanwhile, the police services board is unhappy with a story that appeared in the Journal Sept. 30 that said members were “caught off guard” by news the chief had been formally charged under the Police Services Act.
In a letter to the Journal, chairperson Patti Vanderdonk said board members were aware of the charges when asked to confirm that police act charges had been laid.
She added the board is “fully aware of the background to this matter and this was not a new issue.”