New chief announced for Windsor police

Jason Bellaire was introduced as Windsor’s 19th police chief Tuesday morning.

“We’re pleased to welcome him as the chief of the Windsor police,” said Mayor Drew Dilkens after introducing the 27-year police veteran as the new boss.

Bellaire takes over after assuming the role of interim chief eight months ago when Pam Mizuno retired after serving 2.5 years in the position.

“If you would have asked me years ago if I would have ended up in this position I would have been very, very surprised,” said the smiling chief. “I was always proud of the work I was involved in but I never thought that I would elevate to this position.”

Born and raised in Windsor, Bellaire was deputy chief overseeing operational strategies prior to taking over for Mizuno. Before that, he was an inspector for patrol response and was the first point of contact for community groups in Windsor and Amherstburg.

“The board made its decision. Ultimately narrowed down the pool. Interviewed several candidates and felt very comfortable with Jason’s interview,” said Dilkens who told the gathering candidates from the RCMP, OPP and senior police administration from across the nation put their names in the hat, but the board found comfort in what Bellaire has done since taking over on an interim basis.

“He’s well connected in the community. Knows the players and I think will have the best chance of hitting the ground running and being successful in the role.”

Bellaire wants to address culture change and help the force evolve. He also says his biggest challenge lies in the police response to social and health issues in our community.

“What we really want to do is reduce police interaction with individuals who are better served by other subject matter experts,” said Bellaire, who explained the force will work collaboratively with other agencies to address issues quickly and effectively.

“The police should be supporting rather than taking the lead on those roles which is what we’re having conversations about with our community partners right now.”

Bellaire’s five-year term begins Thursday, Dec. 1.

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