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Hamilton’s next police chief to be ‘innovator,’ ‘good communicator’

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The search for Hamilton’s next police chief is nearing its conclusion.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says second interviews are being planned with a short list of candidates, and he expects an announcement within the next few weeks.

“I can confirm that we had international interest, nationwide interest and of course local interest,” said Eisenberger. “There were some 12 candidates that were brought to us by the search firm as being incredible candidates and we’ve been working through that list.”

Read more: Hamilton police chief Eric Girt to retire in February 2021

“Whether it’s hate and division, or the cost of policing,” added Eisenberger, there’s clearly a desire among the public to have a chief that can represent “the varied interests in our community in an effective way to ensure we continue to develop good, positive relationships with all of our citizens.”

He describes the person they are looking for as an “innovator” and a “good communicator.”

The Hamilton Police Services Board conducted a public survey earlier this year as part of its search for the next police chief, asking what qualities it should be looking for and what issues and challenges the service will face in the years ahead.

Former chief Eric Girt announced his retirement last December after 35 years with the Hamilton Police Service. Girt had served as chief since May of 2016.

Read more: Hamilton’s police services board seeks public’s help in finding new chief of police

One of the highlights of Girt’s tenure was overseeing the development of a new investigative services building in downtown Hamilton.

His legacy also included an apology to the LGBTQ2 community after a year-long ordeal that began following violence at the city’s Pride event at Gage Park in 2019.

The HPS was accused of failing to properly plan for the event and being slow to respond when a disturbance broke out among attendees and protesters.