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UPDATED: Former RCMP chief superintendent named new TBPS chief of police

Darcy Fleury, a citizen the Red River Métis, has served in various roles with the RCMP across Canada, including Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta, and Nunavut

THUNDER BAY - A former Royal Canadian Mounted Police chief superintendent in Alberta has been named the new chief of the Thunder Bay Police Service.

The Thunder Bay Police Services Board administrator Malcolm Mercer announced on Tuesday that Darcy Fleury has been selected as the new chief of police.

"After a comprehensive search process with interested candidates from across the country, we are pleased to welcome Darcy Fleury as the new Chief of Police," Mercer said in a statement. 

"The Governance Committee and the Board have been committed to the search for a new chief of police that would meet the key challenges of building and rebuilding relationships in the Thunder Bay community and region, supporting members of the Service, sworn and civilian, and moving the Service through challenges and opportunities. I feel confident that we have achieved that mandate in the appointment of Chief Fleury.”

Fleury, a citizen of the Red River Métis and member of the Manitoba Métis Federation, has more than 36 years of policing experience and has most recently served as Chief Superintendent with the RCMP Central Alberta District based in Edmonton. 

Prior to that, Fleury has served with the RCMP in Ontario, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and he served as a Criminal Operations Officer in Manitoba.  

“I look forward to the opportunity to be the next Chief of Police for Thunder Bay. I am committed to creating a learning environment within the organization, ensuring community interests are identified in policing priorities, and that the Police Service serves and is representative of everyone within the community," Fleury said in a statement issued Tuesday morning. 

"I am aware of the recent recommendations and reports that speak to needed change within the Service, and I will continue to reinforce and advance the work that is already underway. To move forward, we need to develop strong partnerships to manage crime and ensure the safety of all people in Thunder Bay.”

The search for a new police chief began in earnest in August 2022 with the establishment of the Police Services Board governance committee.

According to Mercer, the committee utilized a report prepared by an expert panel that was convened last year as well as a recruitment firm specializing in the hiring of senior policing officers. 

"It was a really good process. It was collaborative, it was consultative, the governance committee worked well together," Mercer said. "We were impressed by the number of people interested in this challenge. It was not a situation where we lacked good alternatives. We were able to start with a number of people who were well qualified for the role and had the advantage to look to the person we thought best to serve Thunder Bay and the service."

A shortlist of candidates was created and interviews for the position were held in February 2023. Mercer confirmed that internal candidates were considered and interviewed but he is confident Fleury brings great experience and a desire to create real change.

"For me, what stood out about Darcy Fleury, not that this was not available in others, but his perspective on the various communities and challenges that face Thunder Bay I think will be a real advantage," he said.

"What I will say about Darcy Fleury that for me is the most significant, is I think he is a fundamentally decent man, who is thoughtful, kind, and capable of clear thinking and thoughtful choices. That combination is not common."

A one-month transition period starting in April will take place with acting chief Dan Taddeo. A formal change of command will be held on May 15, 2023.

Taddeo had been serving as acting chief since former police chief Sylvie Hauth was suspended from the role following a notice of hearing by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission on Police Service Act charges relating to allegations of misconduct.

Hauth officially retired as chief in January 2023, just weeks before a Police Service Act hearing was scheduled to begin.

Taddeo agrees that Fleury brings a wealth of experience to the position and he is confident Fleury will succeed not only with members of the community but the police service as well. 

"There’s no doubt that is going to be a great asset, especially with the great diversity of Thunder Bay. But regardless of background, it’s all about communication, relationships, and accessibility. All those have to factor in," he said. 

In preparing Fleury for his new role with the Thunder Bay Police Service, Taddeo said it is important to remember that Ontario has a distinct policing act, but also, there are many issues and challenges unique to Thunder Bay. 

"It will be my role, along with deputy chief Hughes, to give chief designate Fleury a good understanding of everything that confronts him and I mean that more positively," he said. "We have excellent staff both civilian and sworn, but there are a lot of complexities, which is why I think the board wants that period of time where we can assist in smoothing that over and get as deep of an understanding as possible with some of the issues that will be confronting him in the years going forward."

Following the change of command ceremony in May, Taddeo said he will announce his retirement from the Thunder Bay Police Service. 

Doug Diaczuk

About the Author: Doug Diaczuk

Doug Diaczuk is a reporter and award-winning author from Thunder Bay. He has a master’s degree in English from Lakehead University
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