Po­lice chief mike Bel­lai takes of­fice in saugeen shores

Job one - de­vel­op­ing com­mu­nity part­ner­ships

Shoreline Beacon - - News - Frances Lear­ment Ed­i­tor

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.

Frances Lear­ment/ShorE­linE BEa­con

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

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