St. Thomas, Ont., police Chief Chris Herridge announced his retirement from the force on Thursday. He will be stepping down after nearly 35 years of policing.
First appointed as the police chief in 2017, Chief Herridge said that “it has been both an honour and a privilege to serve the residents of St. Thomas,” but after all these years “it’s time for a new journey.”
“Since June 1, 2017, I have been surrounded by a dedicated team of policing professionals,” he wrote. “Leadership is about preparing, empowering and inspiring others to lead. Now is the right time for me to step away and let the very capable internal future leaders take this amazing police service even further.”
Beginning his policing career in 1989, Chief Herridge began his career as a cadet in 1989 with the St. Thomas Police Service and has worked in nearly all of the various units either in a direct or supervisory role in climbing through the ranks.
Chief Herridge has been “committed to lifelong learning and over the years has received a Diploma in Police Sciences, Certificate in Human Resources Management and a Degree in Bachelor of Policing,” read the media release. He is also a recipient of the Police Exemplary Medal.
“Chief Herridge is recognized as a community leader because of his innovative thinking, creative problem solving and vision to modernize and implement the latest technological advances,” said Dan Reith, chair of the Police Services Board in a statement. “We thank the Chief for his compassionate approaches to ensure community safety and wellness and an unyielding commitment to the members of the police service.”
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Herridge’s last day with the force will be in February 2023.
Deputy Chief Marc Roskamp has been selected as the city’s new chief of police and will take over in May 2023.
“It’s heartwarming to have learned so much from so many great leaders before me,” he said. “It’s an honour and a privilege to be selected to lead this organization, and I thank the Board for this opportunity.”
According to the media release, “Roskamp admits he has big shoes to fill.”
“Chief Herridge leaves behind a legacy of excellence. His leadership, vision and passion for modern police services have been essential for the growth mindset of the St. Thomas Police Service that has been our existence for the last five years,” he wrote.
Roskamp said that his top priority is to ensure that all St. Thomas police members have the “resiliency training and skills to function optimally, both professionally and personally,” saying that the new strategic plan will speak to the wellness of service members and the community and “will be the focal point moving forward.”
Deputy Chief Roskamp has displayed strong commitment to the service and the community for 25 years,” Reid wrote. “Marc is a proven leader in the policing community.”