New acting chief appointed for Windsor police
The Windsor police force has a new acting chief.
Mayor Drew Dilkens says deputy chief Pam Mizuno has been appointed acting chief until a permanent replacement can be found. Mizuno is the first woman to lead the force in the 152 year history of the organization.
Three candidates have been short listed to take over for Chief Al Frederick, who is retiring at the end of June after 35 years of service as a police officer.
“It’s always an honour to be a role model for other women who may be seeking employment as a police officer,” said Mizuno. “It’s an important role and I hope that I'm able to be an inspiration for others, for other women.”
Frederick attended his final board meeting as chief on Thursday.
“They were not always popular decisions, internally, they were certainly not the easy decisions that you had to make, but you did get it done,” said Mayor Drew Dilkens at Thursday’s meeting.
Frederick became the chief in 2012, at a time when the police force was under intense public scrutiny for the actions of some of its officers, most notably one who attempted to cover up a crime and another who tried to cross the border with unclaimed alcohol.
Frederick was scheduled to retire in January 2018, but delayed his plans after the City of Windsor submitted a bid to take over policing in the Town of Amherstburg.
“My mother would say don't overstay you're welcome, and I feel like I sort of have,” said Frederick.
Frederick tells CTV News he’s proud of all 650 members of Windsor police.
The job has never been easy for the chief.
Frederick led the department most recently through a spike in crime in 2018, when there were ten murder investigations. The police chief also had to respond to questions about a 911 call to his home in November 2018. The OPP cleared the police service for any wrongdoing and no charges were ever laid.
But it is the subject of two police oversight investigations, and there are a number of human rights complaints against the police department.
Frederick has admitted some of the biggest challenges he has faced on the job include the mental health and addictions crisis.
The chief has been reluctant to allow his officers to carry naloxone kits and has voiced his opposition against safe injection sites.
Frederick says those issues will have to be addressed by his replacement, after he retires on June 30.
After retirement, Frederick says he plans to do more volunteer work and spend more time with family.
Mayor Dilkens won't say if any of the three candidates for police chief are internal, but he says he hopes to announce the new chief in a few weeks.