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Clive Weighill reflects on 11 years as Saskatoon police chief

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WATCH ABOVE: As Saskatoon police Chief Clive Weighill gets set to retire, he sits down with Ryan Kessler to discuss building bridges with the Indigenous community and the challenges of policing in a growing city in this extended interview – Sep 29, 2017

When Clive Weighill took the job as Saskatoon police chief in 2006, he knew what he was getting into as his predecessor was often at odds with the police union and its members.

Weighill also knew that the relationship between the force and Indigenous people was also fractured, underscored by the inquiry into the death of Neil Stonechild.

READ MORE: Clive Weighill announces retirement as chief of Saskatoon police

As he prepares to retire as chief after 11 years leading the force, Weighill said mending those relationships was important to him.

“I was hoping we could turn the morale around and improve community relations and show people it was a good police service,” Weighill said in an interview with Global News.

“It was a bad time it went through, but that certainly wasn’t reflective of all the members here.”

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One of his proudest moments in mending the relationship with the Indigenous community was the unveiling of a monument to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

“I think it really sent a strong message that the police here care, that we really are working hard on these files.”

READ MORE: Emotional ceremony in Saskatoon honours missing and murdered indigenous women

Weighill said escalating crime fueled by addictions has proven to be challenging.

“You see somebody who’s been up for six days straight on a meth high, they’re not thinking rationally.”

“They’re hard to deal with if they’re arrested and of course they’re willing to take chances, so they’ll get more money to feed their habit.”

Weighill said what he will miss most when he retires is being chief.

“It’s been nice, a bit of prestige when you go places, so that’s going to be hard to let go.”

“I’ve always enjoyed being a police officer, being proud to be a police officer. And I’ve enjoyed so much here, I think, dealing with the public.”

READ MORE: Search starts for new Saskatoon police chief

The board of police commissioners has started the search for Weighill’s replacement.

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