Police chief introduces new counsel, downtown patrol officer

Kingston Police Headquarters. Photo by Michelle Dorey Forestell/Kingstonist.

Kingston Police are adding some new faces to their team, one in an administrative position and one on a new beat downtown.

The news came at the Police Services Board’s meeting on Thursday, May 16, 2024. The Board supported a new administrative hire and a new position for an internal candidate.

The meeting began with Chair Jarrod Stearns asking Chief Scott Fraser to introduce a “new team member,” Marianne Wright, the General Counsel for Kingston Police.

Fraser said, “It’s our pleasure; Marianne’s at the table with us. Marianne started a couple of weeks ago with us here at Kingston Police: [after] a long history in litigation and law, including time as a prosecutor in Alberta… with the Department of Justice at federal government levels, a number of years with the Northern Irish police, and most recently, the last 12 years as General Counsel with the Toronto Police,”

Marianne Wright. LinkedIn.

“Sometimes they refer to people as unicorns,” the Chief enthused, “and I think we found one in Marianne… I know I didn’t do your history justice, but that’s just the way you probably would like me to keep it.”

During the same meeting, Fraser brought up an item of new business that he said had just been confirmed the night prior, on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

“So, as we talked about before, working with the Downtown [Kingston] Business Improvement Association (BIA) to provide a full time officer [downtown],” indicated the chief. He said there had been “a lot of back and forth” with the BIA to work out an acceptable memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the position, which had now been confirmed.

After an internal competition, the chief noted, a member had been selected to do “a one-year pilot as a foot patrol… starting unofficially next week, and officially the following week, because we’re going to start them on a bike course.”

He told the Board that the understanding was that the officer would work downtown, Tuesday to Saturday, mainly from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with some flexibility for special events.

“But we’re trying to keep that consistency with our officer down there, who will be either on foot or on bike there… for the next twelve months,” Fraser explained. 

Responding to a question from City Councillor Jimmy Hassan, the chief said that the position is being funded 50 percent by the BIA and 50 percent by the City of Kingston.

“So it is revenue to the police service per se; in return for the funding, we’re dedicating an officer there,” he said.

The chief also noted that although the MOU is for one member, “we already have an existing urban foot patrol member. So, theoretically, that position would work out of our core unit. So we’ll have two [officers] that are dedicated there, with this individual [dedicated to the downtown area] 100 per cent of the time.”

“Oftentimes, our core team will get called to different events. So This member will stay downtown,” Fraser said, noting that the successful candidate, Constable Brayden Langille, is coming to the position with “ a number of ideas for down there.”

The chief indicated he will bring updates to the Board as the pilot proceeds, “because I think it’s going to be successful.” 

The Board agreed, and supported the move in a unanimous vote.

The Kingston Police Services Board meets on the third Thursday of each month at 12 p.m. in the William Hackett Boardroom of Kingston Police Headquarters, located at 705 Division Street.

The current Kingston Police Services Board (2024) is made up of five members: (L to R) Professor Christian Leuprecht (provincial appointee), Councillor Jamshed (Jimmy) Hassan (council appointee), Vice-Chair and Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson (head of municipal council), Gail MacAllister (council community appointee), Chair Jarrod Stearns (provincial appointee), and Secretary Lorie Sargeant. Photo via Kingston Police.

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