Calgary Police Commission Appoints Interim Chief Constable
CALGARY – The Calgary Police Commission has selected Acting Deputy Chief Steve Barlow to take on the role of Interim Chief Constable when Chief Chaffin retires. Calgary City Council has ratified the decision.
Acting Deputy Chief Barlow is a 29 year veteran of the Calgary Police Service. He has held senior positions in patrol, specialized investigations, major crimes, professional standards, and human resources. In his current position as acting deputy chief of operations, Barlow has focused on getting front-line officers the support they need to keep Calgary safe, including sponsoring the roll-out of body worn cameras and hard body armour.
“We are grateful that Chief Chaffin gave us six months’ notice of his plan to retire,” said Commission Chair Brian Thiessen. “It gave us an opportunity to identify a strong interim chief early in the process who could fill the gap until a new chief is appointed. Acting Deputy Chief Barlow is a well-rounded, experienced and respected leader. We are confident that he will provide steady guidance to CPS during this stage.”
Barlow will be sworn in as interim chief on October 19 after a transition period with Chief Chaffin, and will serve until a replacement is found. With an interim chief identified, the Commission believes it is appropriate to support the leadership transition at this time to enable a smooth handover of responsibilities.
“I am truly honoured and humbled to have been asked to fulfill this role,” said Acting Deputy Chief Barlow. “I know it will come with challenges, but I accepted the opportunity without hesitation because of the strength of the amazing people within CPS. Chief Constable Chaffin has been a tremendous leader and mentor. I’m looking forward to working with the strong leadership team he has developed to help set up the incoming Chief for success.”
“Thanks to the amazing work of the women and men of the Calgary Police Service, I have been incredibly proud to serve as Chief Constable,” added Chief Roger Chaffin. “They work tirelessly to help keep Calgary a safe and vibrant city and I am indebted to them for their commitment to the community. Under the interim leadership of Acting Deputy Chief Barlow, I am confident that they will continue do all they can to make this city safe.”
With this decision made, the Commission will continue its focus on finding a new Chief Constable to lead the organization. An executive recruiting team from MNP has been selected to assist the search process. The next steps involve creating engagement opportunities for citizens, employees, and community partners to share their thoughts. Details will be posted on the Commission website when they become available later this month.
Calgary Police Commission
BACKGROUNDER - Letter of Expectations
October 9, 2018
Dear Acting Deputy Chief Barlow,
We are honoured that you have agreed to serve Calgarians as interim Chief Constable of the Calgary Police Service.
As Calgary’s independent civilian oversight body, we represent the views of citizens and the values of our community and we hold true to their priorities and concerns as we execute our oversight role. We have established clear priorities, based on input received through engagement activities including citizen consultations, employee surveys, feedback from community partners and district outreach.
During your appointment, ending the date the next Chief Constable takes office, you will execute the duties and responsibilities as set out in the Alberta Police Act, the Police Service Regulation, and your oath of office.
The existing priorities of the Calgary Police Service and the Commission will also guide our expectations for your role.
In particular, your priorities will include:
- Overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Calgary Police Service to preserve a safe community and to maintain public confidence.
- Maintaining a commitment to community policing and building strong relationships between the community and police.
- Working with the Commission and the City of Calgary to complete the 2019-2022 business plan and budget for the Calgary Police Service, and to proceed with an independent resource review.
- Supporting existing efforts to improve employee safety and wellness, such as the ongoing roll-out of body-worn cameras, personal protective equipment, Bill 30 compliance, and an employee mental health strategy.
- Continuing preparation of the CPS management response to former Chief Justice Wittmann’s use of force recommendations to increase public and officer safety.
- Proceeding with the HR modernization reforms underway aimed at fulfilling the Commission’s 7-point plan to create a respectful, inclusive and diverse workplace.
- Providing steady guidance during the transition to cannabis legalization, ensuring sufficient training and education is available on the new laws, bylaws, and CPS internal policies.
- Providing careful stewardship of capital projects such as the arrest processing unit, ballistics lab, outdoor range, and unified CAD system.
We have no doubt that you will uphold the principles of accountability, transparency, and fairness as you perform your duties.
Please know you can count on the Commission for both support and constructive scrutiny as we work together to preserve the trust and confidence Calgarians have given the Calgary Police Service.
On behalf of the
Calgary Police Commission
BACKGROUNDER - Biography
Acting Deputy Chief Steve Barlow joined the Calgary Police Service in September of 1989 and was seconded to his current rank in July 2018.
As a 29 year veteran of the Calgary Police Service, he has held senior positions in patrol, specialized investigations, major crimes, professional standards, and human resources. In his current position as acting deputy chief of operations, Acting Deputy Chief Barlow has focused on getting front-line officers the support they need to keep Calgary safe, including sponsoring the roll-out of body worn cameras and hard body armour.
Barlow was the lead commander during some of Calgary’s most challenging major criminal cases, including the investigations that led to charges against Douglas Garland and Matthew de Grood. He also played an integral role in the creation of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre that opened in 2013. The Centre remains a place of hope, help and healing to children, youth and families who are survivors of abuse.
He is currently the Executive Sponsor of the Patrol Advisory Committee, Vehicle Flights Events committee and Co-Sponsor of the Public Safety Portfolio, and Chair of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Aviation’s Security Committee and Acting Chair of the Board of Governors for Calgary 911.
Acting Deputy Chief Barlow holds a certificate from the Police Executive Research forum in Senior Police Management, a certificate in HR from the University of Calgary, a certificate in Leadership Development from the University of Alberta and a Diploma in Criminology from Mount Royal. He also holds a certificate in the Leadership Development Program 300 from the Haskayne School of Business and was trained in Incident Command.
He is the recipient of the Police Exemplary Service Medal, Alberta Police Officer Long Service Recognition Medal, Alberta Emergency Services Medal and the Calgary Police Distinguished Service Award.
Calgary Police Commission