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New West police board appoints acting chief constable

Mayor Patrick Johnstone: Retiring New Westminster Chief Const. Dave Jansen “personified” the community policing culture.

Deputy Chief Const. Paul Hyland will take on the top job at the New Westminster Police Department – at least temporarily – with the upcoming retirement of the current chief.

Chief Const. Dave Jansen, who joined the police department in 1990 and has been its chief constable since June 2020, will close the chapter on his policing career on June 28.

At its June 18 meeting, the police board approved a motion to appoint an acting chief, while the board completes its search for a permanent replacement.

“I would like to move the motion that the New Westminster police board appoint Deputy Chief Const. Paul Hyland as the Acting Chief Constable of the New Westminster Police Department effective June 29, 2024,” said police board member Drew Hart. “This appointment shall remain in effect until a permanent chief constable is named by the board.”

Mayor Patrick Johnstone thanked Jansen for being patient, answering his questions, and talking him through challenges after he became chair of the police board, something that took effect after he was elected mayor in 2022. He acknowledged Jansen’s leadership within the NWPD and the culture he’s brought to the department.

“The one lesson I've taken is that the wellness of the department is above any measure,” he said. “The members are well taken care of, and they care about the community, they care about the work they do, and they really feel supported the work you do. And that comes from leadership that comes from your work here. ... Thank you for that work.”

Johnstone said he’s also appreciated Jansen’s presence in the community, which has included attending events with his family. He said Jansen has “personified” the community policing culture.

"I really appreciate that,” Johnstone said. “And that's valued. It's recognized by council. It's recognized by the police board. It's recognized by your members. It’s recognized by the community. So, congratulations.”

Jansen said a few words at Tuesday’s police board meeting, his last one as chief constable.

“I can never say thank you enough to New Westminster,” he said. “All ever want to do was to be a cop, and I mean that sincerely. This city gave me that chance.”

The Record recently had a sit-down interview with Jansen, who reflected on his years with the New Westminster Police Department. Stay tuned for that story.

Jansen served as acting chief constable from April 2019 until June 2020, following the retirement of former Chief Const. Dave Jones. At Tuesday’s meeting, Jansen not-so-subtly hinted at who he’d like to see as his successor.

“It's been an incredible ride. … I'm so excited to see what Paul can do, to see what the next chief – Paul – will do; I can say that now,” he laughed. “But thanks, everybody. Thank you for your support. Thank you for listening to me. Thanks for listening to my beefs sometimes. And yeah, it's going to be fun.”