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New chief shares his vision for the Belleville police

By Olivia Timm [6] and Leah Den Hartogh [7]

BELLEVILLE – Being present and visible in the downtown area is just one the things that the new chief of police wants to improve for the Belleville police. [8]

Ron Gignac [9] took over as chief on Jan. 12. He has a list of priorities he wants to achieve, including more presence in the downtown core.

“We’re going to have a more proactive approach in our downtown business core. We’ve got to protect the investment that our city has paid dearly for, but responsibly for. We have a downtown now that’s set to be vibrant, we want to be a part of that vibrancy.”

Gignac joined the Belleville police in July, 2016. He used the six months before he became chief to help shape what he thinks should be the service’s future.

“My vision includes the community’s vision for Belleville police, it includes the greater good of public safety for our community and our region for that matter,” said Gignac.

“The vision is not just a single vision but one made up of various pillars that we need in the best interest of community and public safety.”

One of the concerns in public safety is the drug problem in the area.

Gignac acknowledges that Belleville, like many other communities, has a drug problem but he says that the city is not any different than other communities in Ontario.

“Does every community have an illicit drug problem in our nation? Yes. Without a doubt yes. Are we any different per capita than any other other jurisdiction? I would say no.”

Another priority Gignac has for the safety of the community is with traffic safety. He said that this is the biggest problem he wants to tackle in his time as chief.

He plans on improving this through different initiatives. This includes one that is in budget committee right now which involves license plate recognition.

With these initiatives as well as teamwork with neighbouring municipalities Belleville could be the safest community in Ontario said Gignac.

That teamwork also includes working with institutions like Loyalist College.

“We’re gonna work towards an enhanced relationship with our faculties at Loyalist. I see room in marketing, journalism, and in police sciences,” said Gignac.

He says his military background as well as his various other careers will help him shape the future of the Belleville police.

“I feel that I have enough breadth of experience that I wanted to bring to Belleville specifically,” Gignac said.

Also coming soon: a new police station to be moved into within the next three years. The move will be slow as they will be moving divisions individually to make sure that the systems will work properly in the new building.

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