June 19, 2019 4:39 pm

Steve Williams named London’s 20th Chief of Police

Retired Chief of Police John Pare, left in black, stands with senior officers and London's new Chief of Police Steve Williams, right in black.

Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

The London Police Service welcomed its new top cop on Wednesday.

The sound of drums and bagpipes filled the air just moments before officer Steve Williams was named London’s 20th Chief of Police in the service’s 164-year history.

With tearful members of his family sitting front row at the change of command ceremony in RBC Place London, Williams told Global News Radio 980 CFPL it was hard to keep it together.

“It’s a profession that you can’t do without a lot of love and support,” Williams said.

“I, honestly, would not be in this position if it was not for their support over the last 27 years.”

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READ MORE: Steve Williams hired as London’s new Chief of Police

Williams’ speech at the ceremony was marked by a grateful tone along with a story about he and outgoing Deputy Chief Daryl Longworth, an officer that Williams expressed a close bond with.

Williams told the crowd that it was about a year ago when a tire blew out from the then-Chief of Police’s vehicle, which Williams and Longworth were driving enroute to Windsor.

What followed was the pair pulling over to the shoulder in an attempt to repair the flat tire.

“Daryl took the first crack, but could not get one lug off. Being a bit more husky, I gave it a shot, but could not budge it,” Williams said, adding that they were eventually helped by a mechanic from a nearby auto shop named Fred’s Garage.

“The joke was, ‘How many chiefs does it take to change a tire?’ And the answer is none, because they can’t.”

Longworth’s now in his final months with London police, as he is set to assume the role of Chief of Police for Woodstock in September.

Williams said he’s excited to have a familiar face just east on the 401.

“I’m happy for Daryl and I look forward to working with him in the future as chiefs.”

READ MORE: London deputy police Chief Daryl Longworth named Woodstock’s next top cop

Passing the torch in London is John Pare, who served as Chief of Police since May 2015.

The outgoing chief plans to enjoy his retirement living a quiet life with his family in western Canada.

Pare added that what he’ll miss the most is handling the London Police Service’s budget.

“I found the business side of it very interesting, it was part of what I went to school for as well,” Pare said.

“I thoroughly enjoyed defending our position and our needs.”

READ MORE: London police board to discuss funding shortfall with Ontario Association of Police Services Boards

As for what’s next, London’s new Chief of Police says he plans to carry on the work of the outgoing Pare such as improving the well-being of fellow officers.

“We can’t do anything in the community if we don’t have our own house in order,” Williams said.

“Also, I’m really looking forward to really stepping up our use of technology and pushing that out to the front lines.”

Williams was selected out of more than 12 applicants who applied to be Chief of Police, according to London Police Services Board Vice-Chair Susan Toth.

He has spent his entire 27-year policing career with the London Police Service.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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