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Belleville Police Chief Ron Gignac is stepping down after four years of service.
In an emotional letter to the media (see below), he made the announcement that Friday, October 2nd would be his final day in the top spot of Belleville Police Services.
In a release, Mayor Mitch Panciuk thanked Gignac for his service to the community.
“On behalf of the residents of the City of Belleville and City Council, I would like to thank Ron Gignac for the role he has played in leading Belleville Police Service in creating a safe and positive community," Panciuk stated. "During his time as Chief, Ron has modernized our Police Service and improved our community safety programs."
"We wish Ron and his family the very best with their future plans.”
Belleville, ON - As of Friday, the 2nd of October, I will be stepping down as Chief of Police for the Belleville Police Service. As with all of my public correspondence, I would like to place thanks upon the citizens of the City of Belleville and surrounding Region that have supported my officers, staff, and I over the past four years. We could not have achieved the great feats and endeavours that we have experienced as a police organization without your steadfast support and valiant volunteerism. We are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful City and Region. It is the people of this Region that make it special to live, work, and abide within. My officers and staff of the Belleville Police cherish you as citizens as they work tirelessly striving to provide a safe and secure City and Region so that you and your children and families can live peacefully with the utmost safety. They provide a blanket of protection and often risk their lives in doing so. Please continue to pray and support them in the times to come. This job is really tough, and can be very difficult upon police officers and their families. It takes a tremendous toll upon officers, staff and their families physically, emotionally, and psychologically over the years. We are ordinary people that do extraordinary things.
Folks are always curious of what a Chief thinks that their greatest accomplishments were while they held that office. The greatest accomplishment I can think of during my tenure as Chief of Police is this: That every police officer, auxiliary police officer, special constable, community police volunteer, and civilian staff member made it home to their spouse, to their families, to their pets, and to their loved ones at the end of their shift or tour of duty. We have accomplished this together as a team. I worked very hard with our membership and with our Police Services Board to provide the absolute best safety equipment and technologies available in the name of officer and citizen safety here in Belleville. We accomplished great feats in these realms and I truly thank the many special citizen donors for your gifts towards paying for so many special capital items that keep our officers safer, and in turn, keeping our citizens, guests and visitors safer. I also thank the Police Services Board and City Councillors for their support of our capital budgets. Many of these important capital items requested and granted have saved people’s lives in the past 4 years. That can never be understated. Thank you to our community partners and organizations who we work with throughout the year.
A thank you goes out to our local media in print, radio, and television. I always enjoyed working with you, speaking with you, and making our City safer. You have articulated important messages and tips with the same goals of public safety in mind. Thank you for your diligence and efforts over the past 4 years.
Canada’s largest Air Force base is but a few kilometers away, with thousands of serving military members and veterans residing in our Region and within our City. We are one unified people. The Highway of Heroes begins in Trenton and we cherish and honour the sacrifices that have been made by the men and women serving, as well as the families of our Canadian Forces members and veterans. You are our friends, our neighbours, and we are truly proud of you and your families. Thank you for your devoted service to Canada, to the City of Belleville, and to the women and men of the Belleville Police. I have witnessed your inspirational service to others for many years.
To my officers and staff of the Belleville Police, as well as your families - I am truly honoured to have had the privilege of serving as your Chief. Your valiant efforts and diligent hard work is truly worthy of praise. Thank you for supporting me over the past years. There is no substitute for hard work or effort and I know that your commitments to your oath, and to our citizens, is a bond that will never be broken. I have witnessed your humble and steadfast honourable service in the face of adversity, peril, and challenge. Each one of you are special people and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to know you, to lead you, and to have worked with you. The citizens of Belleville and our Region are in great hands. Thank you and your families for your courage, and your unwavering selfless service to others. Blessed are the peacemakers. The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Special thanks to Belleville Police Service Chaplain Padre Brad Beale for his selfless dedication and support of my officers, staff and I throughout the good days; and those challenging, stressful, and sometimes tragic events that we all face as police officers and staff. Your wise council, listening ear, and devoted prayers have made a tremendous difference for good. I salute you and thank you for all that you do in our community, and this Region.
To my wife Betty, our two daughters, and our family - It has been quite a journey over the past 36 years while serving in the Armed Forces, Police Services, and living all over the place. I could not have done it without you. I am truly blessed to have such a loving and understanding wife and family. You have unconditionally supported me during our life’s adventures, and I simply cannot thank you enough. As we enter this next chapter, I am looking forward to our times together.
Once upon a time I heard something from a very wise man, whose father would remind him and his brothers of every so often. It goes like this - “You make damn sure when you stare yourself in the mirror, you know who the hell it is who is staring you back, and that you haven’t betrayed the best of that person”. It’s an important piece of wise character advice that I have taken to heart and have tried to apply to myself within each day. It is easy to do the right thing when you know ahead of time what you stand for.
In the past 4 years as Chief of Police, I have strived valiantly, worked hard, failed, made mistakes, had successes, come up short, persevered, and fought very hard to try and make Belleville the “Safest Community in Ontario”. I have been surrounded by an exceptional group of police, civilian, and community leaders here in Belleville. You know who you are. Thank you for your steadfast support and hard work. The first half of this year was exceptionally challenging and very fatiguing as Chief. I was “out of gas” so to speak as the tempo and requirements of the time were extremely taxing. Guess what? As a servant leader, I have not been perfect while in this position, but I sincerely hope that I might have been able to live up to some of your expectations; and fulfilled our City’s needs regarding public safety over my tenure as Chief. The time has come for me to turn the keys over to the next Chief. I have every confidence that the Police Services Board, under the leadership of Chair Jack Miller, will select an outstanding Chief--one whom is equipped with exceptional experience and intelligence, and ready to take on the challenges and responsibilities of the position and lead the Belleville Police with service excellence.
Thank you for supporting me, and for supporting my officers and staff. It has been an honour and privilege. God bless,