Devon Clunis was sworn in Friday as the 17th chief of the Winnipeg Police Service.
About 200 people gathered for the swearing-in ceremony at City Hall, including fellow police officers, city councillors, family and friends. The 25-year veteran officer, who is also the police service chaplain, takes over for the retiring Keith McCaskill.
“This is awesome. What a moment,” Clunis said as he approached the podium.
“I became a police officer out of a great desire to make a difference in our community. My career has given me enormous opportunities to fulfill that desire, and it is that same desire for making a difference that caused me to apply for the position of chief of police,” the Jamaican immigrant said.
“I’m declaring that Winnipeg will become a safer city for all citizens. We will do this, not I.”
Clunis said there will be more officers on the frontlines responding to calls for service, but also committed to taking on social issues and the prevention of crime.
“Crime prevention through social development will become a foundational philosophy of how we police our city. We will work cooperatively with the community in addressing social causes of crime. Those include poverty, poor living conditions, alcohol and drug abuse, physical and sexual abuse, a lack of parenting skills and education.”
Clunis began with the police service in 1987 and has served in all major areas of the organization.