London police name new deputy chief

Paul Bastien has been named deputy chief designate for the London Police Service. London Police Service

London police Supt. Paul Bastien will be the next deputy chief of police.

The London Police Services Board announced the appointment Thursday morning, with Bastien set to assume the position on Sunday.

Bastien will replace former deputy chief Stu Betts, who left in January to become the police chief in Peterborough.

Beginning his policing career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Prince George, B.C., in 1997, Bastien moved back to southwestern Ontario in 2001 to join the London Police Service, where he has been since.

“I’m honoured to have been selected as Deputy Chief of the London Police Service and grateful to the Board for entrusting me to perform that important role,” said Bastien in a prepared statement.

According to the release from the police board, Bastien has worked in various roles in the criminal investigation division since 2006, including detective inspector overseeing major crimes, sexual assault and child abuse, and guns and gangs.

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Bastien has also worked in the professional standards branch, including roles with human resources, return-to-work programs and training.

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“Those roles collectively made him an excellent and exemplary candidate for the role,” said Ali Chahbar, chair of the London Police Services Board that is in charge of hiring the chief and two deputies.

Chahbar says Bastien’s over two decades with London police has helped establish him as a valued member of the senior management team.

“He brings a wealth of insight, leadership and acumen to the role of deputy chief,” said Chahbar.

Candidates were interviewed both internally and externally from across Ontario and Canada, said Chahbar.

For his part, Bastien says he is “humbled” to be offered the opportunity to serve as deputy chief.

“I look forward to continued collaboration with the London Police Association, and to strengthening relationships with community partners who share our commitment to enhancing the safety and wellbeing of all throughout the city of London.”

The incoming deputy chief holds an honours bachelor of arts degree in criminology from the University of Windsor and a certificate in police leadership from the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management.

Bastien will start just three days before London gets a new chief of police. Thai Truong is set to become the police chief on June 1, coming from York Regional Police.

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With deputy chief Trish McIntyre continuing to oversee the administration side, Bastien will assume the role of deputy chief of operations. Bastien will be on the job for just three days before London gets a new chief of police. Thai Truong is set to become the police chief on June 1, coming from York Regional Police.

Chahbar said the unique situation the board found itself in with a vacant chief and deputy chief position at the same time provided an opportunity to rally consider the vision and direction of the future of the police force.

“I think we have an excellent, exemplary executive command team that will lead the London Police Service for the following months and years ahead,” said Chahbar.

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