“This man has moved our police service forward by leaps and bounds,” Markiewich said, of Frank Elsner, who's heading west to become the top cop in Victoria, B.C.
Elsner was a mentor to him, Markiewich said, and in his time as chief, led the Sudbury force into a “new era of policing.”
Markiewich also thanked his family, who he said have even a harder job than he does.
“It's tough being a police officer – but it's tougher being the family of a police officer,” he said, as he wife and children looked on. “I hope you are as proud of me today as I am of you every day.”
After being formally sworn in by Justice Andrew Buttazoni, Elsner and Markiewich took part in the “passing of the sword” ceremony, to mark the official transfer of power. Then he presented Elsner with a plaque entitled, “The world according to Frank.”
Famous on the force for his one liners, Elsner then got up to read some of his favourites, including: “Don't buy a dog and then bark,” “He has the IQ of a small kitchen appliance,” and
“Don't let them live in your head rent-free.”
On a more serious note, earlier in the day members of the police services board approved a $60,000 expenditure to hire a head-hunting firm to find a permanent replacement for Elsner. Sharon Baiden, the police's chief administrative officer, said 90 per cent of the chiefs in Canada were hired using Odgers Berndtson, one of five firms that bid on the contract. They have a database of applicants, she said, including personality profiles, so they can get the best fit for Greater Sudbury.
And Ward 5 Coun. Ron Dupuis, who chairs the board, said they have specific criteria in mind for who they want.
“We're looking for a tremendous leader, one who is a leader, who is able to work with the diverse community that we have,” Dupuis said. “We're going to need someone who is well versed in a lot of things … a person who has walked the streets, a person who has driven a cruiser, a person who has done police work.”
The new chief will also have to be well versed in the new community policing model Elsner spearheaded, as well as the challenges presented by online offences.
“We've got crimes that are being committed that you never even dreamt of 10 years ago,” Dupuis said.
They have met with Odgers Berndtson and the interview process has begun, he said.
“They've already interviewed a lot of people (and) they're going to be meeting with community stakeholders to see what they feel we need in a police chief.”
They hired an outside firm because they have the resources and experience to help Sudbury get the best person possible, Dupuis said.
“We've some internal candidates, we've got people who are going to apply from British Columbia and from Newfoundland,” he said. “The firm has a huge database that we do not have … So they'll supply a list of candidates and we'll go from there.”
A final decision should be made by spring, he said.