When It Comes to Former Niagara Regional Police Chief Jeff McGuire, Niagara’s Loss Is Ontario’s Gain

McGuire is appointed Executive Director of 85-year-old Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police

A News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted May 11th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Former Niagara regional police chief Jeff McGuire

Niagara, Ontario – He apparently wasn’t good enough for Niagara – at least not enough to keep Niagara’s Police Services Board and its chair, Niagara Falls regional councillor Bob Gale, from buying him out of what was left of his contract with more than $900,000 of our tax money – but the time-honoured Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) sure seems happy to have him as its new executive director.

“The OACP is pleased and excited to welcome Jeff McGuire as its new Executive Director as we continue to advance the strategic direction of our Association to meet the changing demands of policing a modernized society,” said Chief Bryan Larkin, OACP President, in a news release the association posted on its website this May 7th. “Jeff brings significant leadership, vision, and policing experience to the position.”

It will be a year ago this coming summer that the Police Services Board, which also includes Niagara’s regional chair Al Caslin and Port Colborne regional councillor David Barrick among its members, parted ways with McGuire, issuing him a package worth more than $900,000 to leave the top cop’s job three years before his contract was up.

When details of what was initially characterized as a “retirement agreement” surfaced earlier this year, there were also reports that relations between McGuire, who had served as Niagara’s police chief since 2012, and at least some members of the board were far from a bed of roses.

Casting even more doubt on the e veracity of the patent ‘he’ll be sadly missed’ lines of Gale, Caslin and company that followed McGuire’s departure, the former police chief let it be known in a statement of his own this January that he had no plans to retire and was willing to go on serving as chief until his contract ended in 2020.

Niagara Region’s chair Al Caslin delivering his State of Region address this March. He mentions new police chief in brief tribute to work of police and first responders, but never once mentions Jeff McQuire’s name. Not a word of thanks to him here, after more than five years of service to Niagara.

This past March, when Caslin delivered his annual State of the Region address at a Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Niagara Falls, it did not go unnoticed when he took a few moments to pay tribute to the services the Region’s police and other emergency responders have contributed the greater community, that he mentioned the current police chief, Brian McCulloch, by name, but made no mention of McGuire and his years of service.

Not a word about McGuire even though he continued commanding Niagara’s police force party way through the past year Caslin spent so much of his address looking  back on. Not a word , even though – as the province’s Sunshine List more recently showed – Niagara taxpayers, whether they knew it or not, paid a total of $482,000 ($251,000 for the current chief and $231,000 for McGuire) to cover the salaries of both chiefs. All thanks to a buyout package issued to one who said he was prepared to go on serving for two more years.

What kind of a deal is that for so many Niagara families out there who, among other things, are paying taxes to the regional government on a household income of less than $50,000 a year?

When is it all going to end?

There is this business with the costly buyout of a former police chief; there are all the recent questions that have surfaced around the hiring two years ago of the regional government’s current CAO; there is an outstanding Ontario Ombudsman’s report on the seizure last December of a St. Catharines Standard reporter’s computer and notes at the Niagara regional headquarters; there is an ongoing Ontario Auditor General’s probe into the operations of a Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority that has several regional councillors sitting on its board; and on and on and on!

We, the people of Niagara, have to decide if this is really the kind of governance we want in this region?

Judgement day is coming. There are municipal elections coming this October 22nd.

They are the one best chance we have for the next four years to vote for a Better Niagara. Get engaged. Don’t let the opportunity we have to vote for a better future slip away.

For the record, here is the May 7th news release from the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, announcing Jeff McQuire’s appointment as the association’s executive director – Jeff McGuire Appointed Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police  – 

For Immediate Release: May 7, 2018   (Toronto, ON) – The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) has appointed Jeff McGuire as Executive Director.  He will commence his new duties on June 4, 2018.

“The OACP is pleased and excited to welcome Jeff McGuire as its new Executive Director as we continue to advance the strategic direction of our Association to meet the changing demands of policing a modernized society,” said Chief Bryan Larkin, OACP President.  “Jeff brings significant leadership, vision, and policing experience to the position.  His experience will allow the Board of Directors to continue their ongoing advocacy work while ensuring we build on the strong foundation set by retiring Executive Director, Ron Bain over the last eleven years.”

Jeff McGuire began his 40-year policing career in 1977 with the Toronto Police Service (TPS). He was appointed as the Niagara Regional Police Service’s (NRPS) eighth Chief of Police on June 18, 2012.  After more than five years of service, McGuire retired from the NRPS in July 2017.

“I have the utmost respect and admiration for all of the women and men in this Province who wear the police uniform every day and devote their lives to making our communities safe for all. I am both honoured and humbled to have the opportunity in my new role as the Executive Director to advocate on behalf of the OACP membership to continue to uphold the Vision of the OACP” Building excellence in police leadership for safer communities.” said McGuire. “I want to thank the Board of Directors for demonstrating their confidence in me and I also want to thank the current Executive Director, Ron Bain, for both his mentorship to me and his long commitment to the OACP.” 

During his policing career with the TPS, McGuire was assigned to various positions and ranks and held a variety of senior management positions, including Staff Superintendent in-charge of Operational Services, Area Field Command, and Detective Services. When he left the TPS in 2012 to assume the role of Chief of the NRPS, he was the service’s Acting Deputy Chief, overseeing the operations of 19 specialized units with more than 2,300 employees and a $232 million budget.

McGuire is a Past President of the OACP and is a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the FBI National Academy Associates (FBINAA), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). He served on committees of both the CACP and the OACP and was the Co-Chair of the TPS LGBT Community Consultative Committee for many years.  McGuire has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers and Big Sisters in both Toronto and St. Catharines/Thorold.

In 2011, McGuire was invested as a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces (M.O.M.) by the Governor General of Canada and elevated in 2017 to Officer of the Order of Merit (O.O.M.) He was awarded the 20 year Police Exemplary Service Medal and 30 year Bar by the Governor General.  In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his community service. 

McGuire has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Justice Studies from the University of Guelph and completed programs in Law Enforcement Administration at the University of Toronto, the Canadian Security Studies Program at the Canadian Forces College, the Senior Management Institute in Policing Program of the Police Executive Research Forum in Boston, the Police Leadership Executive Program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

For more information on the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, click on its website at http://www.oacp.on.ca/ .

You can learn more about how to get involved in the citizens’ campaign already underway for A Better Niagara by clicking onhttps://www.abetterniagara.com/ .

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space below the Bernie quote.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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One response to “When It Comes to Former Niagara Regional Police Chief Jeff McGuire, Niagara’s Loss Is Ontario’s Gain

  1. Gary Screaton Page

    I have been honoured to serve under, and to work with, the last three chiefs of the NRPS. I have great respect for them all. Each was different, but each has served us, or is currently serving us, well. In my view, the NRPS is the better for having the benefit of their leadership. I certainly wish Jeff McGuire my best!.

    Like

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