Sault Ste. Marie has a new Deputy Police Chief.
Brent Duguay was sworn in by Sault Matthew Shoemaker Friday afternoon in a ceremony at the Ron Irwin Civic Centre.
Duguay grew up thinking only of being a policeman like his father, Neil, a retired inspector.
“I’ve got pictures of myself wearing his police hat as a kid running around the house,” said Duguay. “Policeman is the only job I ever wanted to do. Obviously, now that I’ve had that opportunity, we’re very proud as a family to continue the tradition of policing that my father started.”
Sault Police Board Chair John Bruno said Duguay will be a major asset to the community in his new post.
“Deputy Chief Brent Duguay. That has a nice ring to it,” said Bruno. “The board is proud to have a distinguished member be our second in command of the Sault Police. Your vast experience as a detective with Investigations Services Branch of our organization, is an incredible asset to this community. The relationship you made during work on joint force operations will surely help make this community safer.”
Sault Ste. Marie Police Services (SSMPS) Chief Hugh Stevenson, who presented Duguay with his new badge, gave the gathering in council chambers an overview of Duguay’s career with Sault Police Services. Stevenson says his wide range of positions made him a well-rounded candidate.
“This gentleman comes to you with an incredible amount of experience,” said the Chief. “He’s worked in all commands of the service, which did him well in his application process to be our deputy.”
Concluding his remarks, Stevenson turned to Duguay and said,
There was loud applause from a near full council chambers.
Duguay thanked several people including his family, the Mayor, Bruno, Stevenson and SSMPS Board Vice-Chair Ian MacKenzie. He then thanked his colleagues.
“I’d like to thank the brave men and women of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Services,” said Duguay from the podium. “I know the commitment you show every day. Policing can be a very thankless job. Your empathy and professionalism do not go unnoticed. I know you’ll continue to make us all very proud.
Asked after the ceremony about his focus and responsibilities going forward, Duguay named a few.
“The downtown, obviously,” he said. “Strengthening our community relationships with community partners. Recruiting is obviously a big issue. We’ve got a robust plan to get more officers in the door. Technology, I think for us, will be big in the near future. Using technology to modernize police services.
Duguay was hired by Sault Ste. Marie Police Services in January 1995 and began in patrol services. The Sir James Dunn graduate worked his way up through the ranks to Sergeant in 2010. He received further promotions to Staff Sergeant and Inspector.
He replaces Robert McLachlan who is retiring after 47 years service.