The search is on for a new top cop in Port Moody.
Following the announcement that Port Moody police chief Brad Parker is retiring effective June 1, 2013, the police board will be looking to fill his job.
Mayor and police board member Mike Clay said the board hopes to have a new chief in place working on a transition before Parker leaves. He said the board would likely develop a candidate profile and look to the market and internally for the best candidates.
"I think our next chief isn't just going to have to be a great cop, but a great leader and manager of the department and someone who can also do that interfacing in the community," Clay told The NOW, adding the board does have some time to pick a candidate but cautioned it will go by quickly.
The mayor also offered high praise for the outgoing chief, suggesting he showed leadership in a department that was growing.
"Here's a guy who was thrown into a very public gang member issue in Port Moody, really difficult crime issues he's dealt with very effectively," he said.
Parker, who joined the force as chief in 2007 and has spent 32 years in policing, told The NOW it was time for him retire.
"Everyone has to retire at some point," he said.
Parker said he took charge at a time of growth in Port Moody, and not withstanding the trio of gang-related murders, the force and community are well positioned for his departure.
"I still believe, and the stats will show, this is one of the safest places in B.C. to live," he said.
Parker said one of his main goals over the years was to increase the quality of work by the department.
He said he's received numerous calls from regional and crown prosecutors over the years complimenting Port Moody police on the quality of investigations.
Parker also pointed out the department is being called on now to look after investigations in other police forces.
"It's a recognition around the province that we can certainly hold our own in criminal investigations," he said.
Parker, who is an avid saltwater fisherman, said he doesn't have any plans post retirement other than to relax and spend time with his new grandson.