The Dryden Observer

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New police chief Palson assumes post

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
Outgoing interim chief Derek West (left) with Police Services Board Chair Peter Andrusco and new Dryden Police Services Chief Doug Palson. Photo by Michael Christianson

By Michael Christianson

The end of June means a changing of the guard at the Dryden Police Service.

Doug Palson has taken over as the new Chief of Police.

Palson’s experience includes twenty years with the Brandon Police Service rising through the ranks from Constable to Staff Sergeant. In 2008, he became the Police Chief with the Dakota Ojibway Police Service, providing services to six First Nations communities located across southern Manitoba.

Chief Palson has held various positions as President of the First Nations Chiefs of Police Association; Board of Directors on the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs; Co-Chair Canadian Association of Police Chiefs Policing with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples Committee.

Palson is just starting the transition to chief but has had a friendly and positive experience in Dryden so far

“I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen so far,” said Palson. “I’ve only been able to meet a small portion of the staff and members so far because of shifting and stuff but I’m very impressed. I’m especially impressed with the facility too. The City of Dryden should be very proud of the facility they have here. I’ve worked in some different policing environments and with some different challenges and conditions and they’re doing it well here.”

The Chair of the Police Services Board Peter Andrusco is happy to see Palson take the reins and is grateful to the Thunder Bay Police Service for lending them someone to fill the role.

“Also it’s a goodbye to Derek West from the Thunder Bay Police service who originally was signed up to come here for three months, has now been here seven,” said Andrusco. “Having him come and spend the time with us was a very good decision on our part. He was able to come in and carry on a lot of the things our former Chief Rob Davis had started but wasn’t able to complete plus other things that came across his desk he was able to deal with them in a very positive way and he’s turning over the service to Doug and the service is in very good shape at this point.”

The departing chief Derek West will return to Thunder Bay and he feels fortunate he was involved in the process of selecting Chief Palson and feels he possesses the necessary skills to move the service forward.

“I feel I’ve accomplished a lot, I feel I’ve learned a lot, I feel I’ve made a real good connection with the community,” said West. “I leave with mixed feelings knowing that I have done that. I feel I’ve had a positive impact for the police service specifically for the members and also for the community, which is going benefit from this remaining community service. I really want to thank everyone from the community for making me feel welcome here. I wish the city on its recovery all the best and I will not hesitate to ever come back and enjoy what the city has to offer.”


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