Delta police chief announces retirement

DELTA — Delta police Chief Jim Cessford announced Wednesday morning that he will be stepping down early next year.

“This is a personal decision and after discussing it with my family, I feel it is a good time for me to move on," Cessford said in a statement. "The department is in a good place right now and we have an outstanding team ready to take on the challenge of leading the organization into the future.”

Cessford joined the Delta Police Department as chief in 1995 and is currently Canada’s longest serving police chief.

“Delta is one of the safest communities in Canada, thanks to support from the public, our police board, our municipal council and, most importantly, the men and women who come to work every day for the Delta Police. It has been an honour to work with all of these people and our community over the years," he said.

Cessford began his policing career with the Edmonton Police Service more than 46 years ago, where he served for 27 years in various roles from a hostage negotiator to a homicide and major crimes investigator.

“I am grateful for the unwavering dedication and leadership Chief Cessford has demonstrated throughout his career in Delta," said Mayor Lois Jackson, who is also chair of the police board. "Jim has served our community and this country with exemplary leadership, for which he has received national recognition and made a lasting impact. Our extensive work together on the police board has made a measurable impact in our community — we have seen crime decrease and Delta Police evolve into a top notch police agency, representing community pride and excellence.”

Jackson notes there will be big shoes to fill in finding Cessford’s successor.

“I am committed to maintaining Delta’s reputation as ‘no call too small’ when it comes to community policing, along with our low crime rates,” she said. “Chief Cessford, along with the Delta Police Board, has worked hard to implement an effective succession planning model to ensure our community continues to operate at the highest possible level of public safety standards. Delta police has a reputation second to none across Canada, and we plan on keeping that status.”

Cessford has recieved a number of awards and honours over the years. He was the recipient of the Governor General’s First Bar for 40 years of Exemplary Police Service, was named Citizen of the Year by the Delta Chamber of Commerce in 2009, was granted the Order of Merit for Police Services in 2010 by the Honourable Governor General Michaëlle Jean, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his continued and outstanding service.

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