Chief, deputy to retire
Recruitment process to start ‘right away’
Chief Geoff Nelson well remembers how it felt to walk through the doors of the Brantford police station for the first time.
“It was in January 1990 and the police station was down on Greenwich Street and I walked through those doors feeling like I had won the lottery,” Nelson recalled Friday after he announced that he will be retiring July 27.
“I had been selected to become a member of the Brantford police service.
“I was proud to join the service then and I’ve been proud to wear the uniform every day since.”
After 30 years in policing, including the last five as chief, Nelson, who will be 52 when his retirement takes effect, said it’s time to move on to the next chapter of his life.
“I don’t have any immediate
Thirty years is a long career in any line of service, mostly police services, so I understand the chief ’s decision.” Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis
plans other than to spend more time with family and friends and travelling with my wife (Heidi),” he said.
“I’m extremely proud of our service and the men and women who work so hard every day to uphold its honour and I’m confident that it will continue to grow successfully through their ongoing leadership.”
He said he is grateful for “all the talented people” he has met and worked with over the years,
“And that’s what I will miss the most when I leave.”
The chief’s announcement coincides with news that Deputy Chief Rob Dinner will retire Aug. 31. Dinner also joined the police service in 1990.
Vincent Bucci, chair of the Brantford police services board, thanked Nelson and Dinner for their contributions.
“The community has been wellserved by their leadership and diligence,” said Bucci, a lawyer with Lefebvre and Lefebvre.
“Meanwhile, it’s business as usual and we’ll begin the recruitment process for a new chief and deputy chief right away.”
Bucci said he is confident the police serive will be able to continue to grow.
“While I have only been working with Chief Nelson since December, that was long enough for me to know he is an extremely capable and competent leader who has made and will continue to make a significant impact on this community,”
Nelson said he still has a lot of work to do in the next six months.
He said he will focus on making sure the police service is well-positioned for a smooth transition.
“Thirty years is a long career in any line of service, mostly police services, so I understand the chief ’s decision,” said Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis.
He also thanked Dinner for his contributions to keeping the community over the past 30 years.
Dinner began his career in the patrol section and was later assigned to roles in the auto theft unit of the criminal investigation branch, as casino liaison officer, patrol sergeant and as a platoon commander, where he served as a staff sergeant. As well, he was a long-serving member of the emergency response team, including leading team for six years.
He was promoted to inspector in 2011 and became deputy chief in 2014.
“It has been my great honour to serve the people of this community alongside Chief Nelson,” Dinner said. “It feels fitting for me to also retire at this time.
“I’ve proudly worn the uniform of the Brantford police service since 1990 and I retire having every confidence the citizens of Brantford will continue to be well served by the highly professional and dedicated members of the service.”
Dinner also thanked the members of the service, both past and present, who have supported him throughout his career.
Nelson joined the service as a patrol officer and was promoted to sergeant in the criminal investigation section in 2003 and, two years later, was promoted to staff sergeant.
In 2006, he was promoted to inspector and, in 2011, he became deputy chief.
Nelson became police chief in 2014.
A member of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, Nelson has been involved with numerous organizations over the years, including Special Olympics and the Lansdowne Children’s Centre. He was presented with the Order of Merit of the Police Forces in 2017 in recognition of exceptional service and performance of duty.