Police chief mike Bellai takes office in saugeen shores
Job one - developing community partnerships
Tears and a declaration of love to his family by the new Saugeen Shores Police Chief Mike Bellai added a tender touch to his official swearing in ceremony Dec. 1 at the Saugeen Shores council chambers, filled with his family, fellow Chiefs, officers, Town staff and press.
Holding a Bible, Chief Bellai (pronounced BELL-lie) took the oath of office, administered by the Honourable Justice Kevin Sherwood, promising to preserve the peace and discharge his duties “faithfully, impartially and according to the law, so help me God.”
Saugeen Shores Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau, who chairs the Police Services Board, presented Chief Ballai with his new badge. Earlier Charbonneau said that under Chief Ballai, the Police Service is positioned to deal with future challenges to make Saugeen Shores safe and welcoming.
Chief Bellai said he was grateful for his two families — his police family and his personal one — and he teared up as said his two sons, including Jake who was in the audience, that them growing into fine young men was the most rewarding part of his life. “I couldn’t be prouder of both my sons — you guys are the best.”
To his wife, Sandra, Chief Bellai promised that Saugeen Shores “is will be the last stop” and thanked her for keeping him grounded before adding : “I love you.”
Bellai said it will be an honour and privilege to serve Saugeen Shores with pride and integrity.
“I will admit I have an insatiable appetite for information; I’m always seeking new and innovative ways of improving service delivery and looking for ways to make positive change to make sure we progress as a viable police service,” Ballai said, adding that leading the Saugeen Shores Police Service into the future is challenging and exciting.
“The Service is committed to delivering a more effective public safety model. We understand this can not be done in isolation and we are committed to operating in a wider safety and security network to ensure the citizens of Saugeen Shores are provided [with] the best available service,” the Chief said.
After the ceremony, Bellai said his management style would describe him as “very fair and about getting the job done. I’m innovative and always looking to the future. I really like to examine things — I’m a very evidence-based person,” he said, adding was drawn to the job in Saugeen Shores partially because of all the expected growth in this community — the fastest growing community in Grey Bruce.
Bellai said job one is to meet more of the community to see what can be done collaboratively to provide better public safety with partners.
Former Chief Dan Rivett was not forgotten at the change of command — he reportedly was enjoying his first day of retirement after 20 years of policing in Saugeen Shores, sitting on his deck on Rideau Lake with a cup of coffee.
Saugeen Shores Police Chief Mike Ballai was officially sworn into office by the Honourable Justice Kevin Sherwood Nov. 30 in the Saugeen Shores council chambers