Former Saanich Police Chief Bob Downie retired on July 31. His replacement, Scott Green, took on the role the next day.
On his last day, Downie promoted five members of the Saanich Police, including Green who was promoted to chief and Gary Schenk who was named deputy chief.
There were some sentimental moments when Downie turned in his uniform and cleaned out his office, but it was a happy transition, said Green. The entire department took Downie out for dinner after his last shift and then he and his wife took off on a vacation.
Downie worked for the Saanich Police for almost 40 years; 37 years as a regular member and almost three years as a reserve constable, said Green, who has been with the department for 32 years.
Green was “flattered and honoured” to be offered the leadership role. He was the deputy chief under Downie for many years and will now spend the next three years as the chief. Green comes from a long line of police officers who all held senior leadership roles. His goal is to support his staff’s well-being and to streamline the Saanich Police Department’s business practices so that both the time and funds invested in police activity are returned.
He plans to work towards efficiency and effectiveness by managing staff shortages through a potential tiered policing model that he said is currently being used in Abbotsford and Vancouver. The model would consist of hiring officers who are still working on their full police training at a lower wage and having them assist with calls that don’t require an armed officer. This would include traffic control, evidence tagging, crime scene containment, among other things.
“Saanich is a great department and I’ve worked here my whole life,” he said. “I never questioned my decision to live and work here.”