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Police chief moving on

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
Dryden Police Chief Rob Davis has taken a new position with the Lethbridge Police . Photo by Samanth Hawkins

Working with city to address costs   an important part of term as chief, says Rob Davis
By Samantha Hawkins

Everything happens for a reason, and the driving force that brought Chief of Police, Rob Davis home to Dryden, is ushering him forward to the next stage of his career in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Tendering his resignation the Tuesday after the Municipal election was an emotional time for Davis as he has always been incredibly proud of his family ties to Dryden, and was overwhelmed by the support and experiences he has received during his time here over the past three years.

“Now with the election done we’re going to be sitting in a position where we have a strong council and a strong mayor,” said Davis, “so things are in good shape for whoever replaces me. There’s always work to do, but we’re sitting good there.”

Working closely with the previous council caught Davis some flack from other Chiefs and Police boards across the province, but he maintains that due to the financial situation surrounding Dryden, that strong relationship was crucial in order to maintain public safety and a healthy working environment.

“One thing we’re really proud of, I as a chief and as a board and with this council, is that we’re pioneers in the sense as we said, look, we’re in this together, lets work together to do what’s right for this City and start digging ourselves out of this financial hole.”

Being a part of something where every one respected boundaries and was so willing to work together, really set Dryden apart adds Davis.

“There are not many places in Ontario or all of Canada perhaps where you can have those frank conversations where everyone is there to make sure everyone is working to the betterment of the City with public safety in mind.“

Always one to be involved with the community, Davis’s first line of unofficial business, upon his arrival three years ago, was to offer his services to the offensive line of the Dryden High School Eagle’s Football team.

“They really embraced me,” recollects Davis, “when I got here kids were in grade 9 and now they’re in grade 12, I’ve seen them turn from kids to young men, and to see the quality of the people that are going to be the leaders of Dryden, Dryden as a City is in good hands. It’s in really good hands, and not just football, you see the kids around the high school, and there’s such a great core of up-and-coming leaders coming out of that high school and also the Aboriginal kids that are coming here for high school, for the overall well being of the City, it’s really encouraging to see it’s on the right track.”

Being a status Indian, Mohawk from 6 Nations Reserve, allowed Davis to be sensitive to the needs of all community members and working with the Dryden Native Friendship Centre to promote honest, open dialogue and increased trust between the Aboriginal community and local police has been instrumental in building relationships and setting the course for future improvements.

“I think we’ve come a long way in building trust for the police,” said Davis, “there’s still a long way to go, don’t get me wrong, but it’s going to have to continue and its got to be one person at a time. You see in big organizations there seems to be a philosophy, ‘we’ll do a seminar and then everybody’s better,’ well that doesn’t happen.”

With strong leaders on their way, trust and open dialogue in the works, Davis is proud to leave the future of the Dryden Police Services in the hands of its many incredibly talented men and women and looks ahead with confidence.

“The men and women here are really well trained, but you have to be, we’re four hours from our next major centre so that really impressed me and the quality of men and women in the service are second to none and they really care about the community and that’s something made a really easy move here as well, that I am going to really miss leaving.”

 

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