May 31, 2017 5:15 pm

Seven Halifax police officers promoted

Six Halifax police officers smile for a photo following a promotional ceremony Wednesday, May 31, 2017. From left, Sgt. John McNeil, Staff Sgt. Mark MacDonald, Inspector Richard Lane, Deputy Chief Robin McNeil, Staff Sgt. Ron Legere and Sgt. Kathryn Willett. Not pictured, Inspector Penny Hart.

Halifax Regional Police

Seven officers with the Halifax Regional Police have been promoted.

The officers received their promotions Wednesday at Halifax city hall which saw six promoted to the roles of inspectors, staff sergeants and sergeants.

They are:

  • Inspector Richard Lane
  • Inspector Penny Hart
  • Staff Sgt. Ron Legere
  • Staff Sgt. Mark MacDonald
  • Sgt. Kathryn Willett
  • Sgt. John McNeil

The seventh promotion was for Supt. Robin McNeil to deputy chief, which comes a few weeks after deputy chief Bill Moore retirement.

READ MORE: Halifax Regional Police swear in 20 new officers

Chief Jean-Michel Blais said in a news release the force was proud of the officers.

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“They are true leaders who have worked hard, dedicated themselves to HRP and our community and earned their promotion,” Blais said.

McNeil said Wednesday afternoon he was humbled by the promotion.

“For me, larger than this opportunity is the fact we’ve had seven very strong people put forward for other opportunities within the organization,” he said. “This group of people promoted today are just a continuation of our organizational change that’s been occurring probably over the last 18 months where we’ve had a large number of internal candidates step up and take on really serious roles.”

The former superintendent will transition into his role starting in June and take on the role July 1 after Moore’s time with HRP ends.

Asked how he’ll follow where Moore left off, McNeil said losing the deputy chief is a “great loss” to the organization and said the deputy had been a mentor for him.

“Like any change I’m sure there will be tweaks that can be brought but certainly our immediate plan will be to move forward on the 10-year strategic plan that’s been given us the directions put forward by Chief Blais and deputy chief Moore,” McNeil said.

McNeil started with Halifax police in 1989 and has held roles in operations and administration, including patrol, criminal investigation, drugs, and community relations/crime prevention. He was promoted to superintendent in 2009 and recently served as officer-in-charge of patrol division.

READ MORE: Halifax police look to revive community-based advisory committee

As deputy, he will be in charge of operations which includes the Integrated Criminal Investigations Division and Patrol Division on July 1.

“I don’t know that people begin in an organization of our size and actually plan for a natural career path and have themselves sitting here, it certainly was not mine,” McNeil said.

“You strive to do well with all the opportunities that are presented to you, you work hard, and sometimes it’s less about the opportunity that’s in front of you and more about the challenge that says ‘could I contribute at a different level providing the quality service.'”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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