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DRPS Chief Paul Martin to retire this Autumn

DRPS Chief Paul Martin to retire this Autumn

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

DURHAM: Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) Chief Paul Martin will retire this September. Chief Martin began working for DRPS in 1990. He was appointed the service’s Deputy Chief in 2012 and was named Police Chief in 2014. “I aspired to be a police officer since high school,” Chief Martin said, in a press release. “To retire as Chief of Police of this outstanding Police Service is an immense privilege, but it is also difficult. However, the timing is right for myself and my family. I am honoured to have had this leadership opportunity, and I am so proud of the men and women of the DRPS, who serve our community daily with courage, care, and integrity.” Prior to becoming Chief, Mr. Martin also served on the DRPS’ Tactical Support, Nuclear Security and Human Resources units. “Chief Martin has fulfilled his leadership role with the DRPS with excellence and ensured that superior police services were provided to the citizens of our Region for the last six years,” Durham Regional Police Service Board Chair Kevin Ashe shared in a press release.

“He has fostered and nurtured partnerships with religious, cultural and racial communities across Durham Region, to strengthen equity and inclusion in police practices. He led the implementation of Durham Connect, to address high-risk cases to community safety and well-being, and the program is now regarded as a model across the Province. A host of continuous improvement initiatives were introduced during his tenure, to ensure greater efficiency and effectiveness in DRPS programs and services. And the leadership cadre of the Police Service is more diverse than ever.” Scugog Mayor and Police Service board member, Bobbie Drew sent her well wishes for Chief Martin’s retirement. “Chief Martin has provided strong leadership and professionalism, leading DRPS through challenging times. [He has been] working on steps to modernize DRPS and has been an advocate and change agent for advancing Equity, Inclusion and Diversity. I wish Paul well as he retires and hope he will enjoy more time with family and friends,” she wrote, in an email to The Standard. In a released statement, Chief Martin admitted this year has been a “very different kind of year” for police officers because of racial equality concerns being heard across North America. “We have made progress in building bridges in our communities and we still have much work to do, but here we are the victim of an old truth. It takes years to build a reputation and only seconds to destroy it. It takes hundreds of gestures of kindness and support, and one of anger to undermine that hard work. It’s not a fault exclusive to policing, it is a reality of life. But we need to be driven by its lesson: bad behaviour and mistakes cause serious damage, and the price is paid not only by the citizens who may have been hurt, but by every brother and sister in service. There has not been a more difficult time to be a police officer in the community in my lifetime,” he wrote. But in closing, Chief Martin stressed the importance of all people having a say in the future of the police force. “Every Canadian has a role to play in this journey to develop communities and community safety in Canada. In policing and at the DRPS we need your support, your feedback, your counsel, and most of all your understanding as we climb this hill together towards a new future of policing in Canada.” An interim Chief of Police will be appointed this Autumn following Chief Martin’s departure, and the police services board has stated a search for his successor will then be carried out “over the coming months.”

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