Police chief gives farewell to Weyburn city council

Weyburn’s Police Chief Marlo Pritchard gave a farewell to members of city council on Monday evening, as he will be leaving by next week for a new provincial position.

Pritchard will be taking on a new role of President of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency, which was created in 2017 as a Treasury Board Crown that manages Saskatchewan’s 911 emergency call-taking and dispatching services.

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“It took a couple of days to think about it, to be perfectly honest,” said Pritchard of his new role, which was announced by the province in early August.

He became Weyburn’s chief of police in 2012, after he served with the Regina Police Service, and is going out after serving also as the provincial head of the Police Chiefs Association of Saskatchewan.

“It’s been an interesting ride at times,” he told council, noting he has been impressed by the level of support from the police commission and especially from the community, describing it as “second to none”.

“I’m not leaving because I’m bitter,” said Pritchard, adding that it was a difficult choice to make as he has become a part of the police force and of the community. “But now it’s time to turn the keys over to someone else,” he said, before going over to shake the hands of each member of council and administration.

Mayor Marcel Roy said Chief Pritchard is “leaving big shoes to fill” as he leaves, and noted that the police commission will now be focusing on finding his replacement.

He suggested if residents have any suggestions of what they would like to see in a police chief, to submit them to the police commission so they can consider them as they mount a search for a replacement.

• In other council business, council approved the next step for the city’s tax enforcement process, which is to send a request for consent of title to the Provincial Mediation Board on four properties with outstanding property taxes.

The property taxes total $188,391, with one property alone having a tax bill of $174,760. The other properties have bills of $2,675, $3,290 and $7,665.

The owners of the four properties have received a six-month notice, and as the taxes are as yet unpaid, the Provincial Mediation Board will be notified, and they will make contact with the property owners to arrange for payment of the taxes. If the property owner fails to make payments or arrangements, the board will then give permission to the City to take title of the properties.