Today in the legislature I bid farewell but not goodbye to our beloved Chief of Police, Jim Cessford. It will be hard to imagine Delta Police without Jim, but he is certainly leaving it in the best possible position. Here is the video and transcript of my speech:
V. Huntington: While I stand today to thank Delta's police chief, Jim Cessford, for 46 years of extraordinary service to the people of Edmonton and Delta, it is with mixed emotion that I congratulate him on his retirement next January. It's hard to imagine Delta police without him.
I was on Delta council when we hired Jim. Chief Cessford came to Delta over 20 years ago, and he quickly led our police force into a new era. He challenged conventional models of policing and of fighting community crime. He brought the Delta police back to its roots, adopting principles of community partnership, customer service, problem-solving and community ownership.
Jim Cessford is celebrated for implementing Delta police's popular "No call too small" policy. The slogan is on every car and every mind. By focusing police attention on smaller, seemingly minor problems like broken windows, Delta police nipped nuisances in the bud before they became serious public policy and safety concerns.
People saw police in their neighbourhoods. A lot of us saw Jim and his colleagues coaching on the ball fields, in the hockey rinks and at police summer camp. The students saw a police liaison officer in every school. For his hard work and accomplishments, Jim has received, among other honours, the Governor General's Order of Merit of the Police Forces. He was named one of Delta's citizens of the year.
As we say farewell to our friend and ever-so-popular Chief Jim Cessford, we do so, knowing that he leaves Delta police equipped to meet the future with a strong succession plan supported by our local police board. Despite the new challenges facing modern policing — and mental health services come to mind — we know that Jim leaves the Delta police force ready to keep Delta safe and sound in the years ahead.
Will the House please join me, and I'm sure, the member for Delta North, in congratulating Canada's longest-serving chief of police, Chief Const. Jim Cessford.