Canada’s longest serving chief of police, Jim Cessford of Delta Police, announces retirement

Chief Jim Cessford

DELTA Police Chief Jim Cessford has announced his decision to retire in early 2015, a year that will mark two decades as chief in Delta.

Cessford joined Delta Police in 1995 and has guided the department through 20 years of substantial changes in policing. Cessford said: “This is a personal decision and after discussing it with my family, I feel it is a good time for me to move on. The department is in a good place right now and we have an outstanding team ready to take on the challenge of leading the organization into the future.”

Cessford added: “Delta is one of the safest communities in Canada, thanks to support from the public, our police board, our municipal Council and, most importantly, the men and women who come to work every day for the Delta Police. It has been an honour to work with all of these people and our community over the years.”

[The VOICE’s Rattan Mall adds: Chief Cessford reached out to the South Asian community in a positive manner and was always very cooperative with me. He was a real friend of the community and will be really missed by us.]

As Chair of the Police Board, Mayor Lois E. Jackson said: “I am grateful for the unwavering dedication and leadership Chief Cessford has demonstrated throughout his career in Delta. Jim has served our community and this country with exemplary leadership, for which he has received national recognition and made a lasting impact. Our extensive work together on the Police Board has made a measurable impact in our community – we have seen crime decrease and Delta Police evolve into a top notch police agency, representing community pride and excellence.”

Noting there will be big shoes to fill with respect to finding a successor for Delta, Jackson said: “I am committed to maintaining Delta’s reputation as ‘no call too small’ when it comes to community policing, along with our low crime rates. Chief Cessford, along with the Delta Police Board, has worked hard to implement an effective succession planning model to ensure our community continues to operate at the highest possible level of public safety standards. Delta Police has a reputation second to none across Canada, and we plan on keeping that status.”

Cessford began his policing career over 46 years ago in Alberta with the Edmonton Police Service, where he served 27 years in various roles ranging from a hostage negotiator to a homicide and major crimes investigator. He has been President of both the Municipal Chiefs of Police and the BC Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP); a member of various BCACP committees; a member of the Steering Committee that built the Organized Crime Agency of BC (Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit); and has lectured at the Justice Institute of BC, Simon Fraser University, University of Alberta and other organizations across Canada. Chief Cessford served as Chair of the Canadian Police Research Centre based in Ottawa and presently sits on the Kwantlen Criminology Advisory Board.

Cessford received the Governor General’s First Bar for 40 years of Exemplary Police Service, was named Citizen of the Year by the Delta Chamber of Commerce in 2009, was granted the Order of Merit for Police Services in 2010 by Governor General Michaelle Jean, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his continued and outstanding service.