Chief Constable Les Sylven

Les SylvenA message from Chief Constable Les Sylven:

As I take on the responsibility of Chief Constable, I have many thoughts about the future of our police service. But before I share some of those thoughts with you, I would first like to take some of your time to express my gratitude.

Specifically, I would like to begin by thanking Chief Hames for leading this community as our Chief Constable for over 16 years. During this time Chief Hames had guided us through some of the biggest challenges and changes in the history of the Service, most significantly in the areas of  police integration and technology. Thank you Chief for your many years of leadership at the helm of this organization.

Next, I would like to express my gratitude to Mayor Windsor and the members of Central Saanich Council. I thank you for your support of this police department and for the tireless work that you do for the community.

I am also thankful to the members of the Central Saanich Police Board. This dedicated group of community volunteers gives freely of themselves, and their time, to provide us with valuable community oversight and strong governance. I am grateful for the confidence they have placed in me to take on this role and for the many positive experiences we have already shared in the past 3 years.

The day to day success of this service is the product of the talented police officers, civilian support staff, and volunteers we have here at the Central Saanich Police. They are strongly committed to keeping this community safe… often in very difficult and dangerous circumstances. Having worked with police officers from across this country, I can tell you that Central Saanich Police officers are among the finest you will find anywhere.

We all owe these members our thanks for what they do for us every day.

Above all, I am grateful to the citizens of Central Saanich. In the policing profession, there are some well known principles that have been followed since 1829. These are called Sir Robert Peel’s Principles of Policing and when we consider the challenges that our police organizations are facing today, I believe these 185 year old guidelines are more relevant than they ever have been.

The greatest of Peel’s principles is this: The success of a professional police department rests entirely on the support it receives from the citizens that it serves.

We can only do our job with your support – no crime has ever been solved and very few crimes have been prevented without someone from the community stepping forward to support the police. You are our partners in public safety and for that, I thank you.

Moving forward into the future as your Chief Constable, I will ensure that keeping our partnership strong and vital will be my highest priority. To do this, I will ask myself 3 questions, every day, on your behalf.

The answers to these questions will be the compass that guides me, and the members of this police service, as we make many decisions in the years ahead.

The first of these 3 questions is:

Does the community feel safe? Your safety in your homes and on our streets and highways is our primary mission. Ensuring positive feelings of safety requires analyzing and acting on crime statistics and trends and listening very closely to what the community is telling us. Much of what we have done, and will do in the future, will focus on ensuring our community feels safe and feels heard.

The second question is, how much does the community trusts us? Trust is the foundation that all police departments require to deliver effective service. To continue to build that trust, I will ensure that we are as open and transparent as possible. We will manage the resources you have given us efficiently and we will always strive to carefully balance the need for public safety with the protection of privacy.

The third question is simply, is this service ready? Do we have the skills, equipment and talent to meet any foreseeable challenge to your safety that comes our way? I firmly believe that if we recruit, hire, and train the very best officers for our community, and then keep them safe, resilient, and healthy, we will be well on our way to answering this question with a resounding yes.

Am I safe, can I trust you, are you ready are the three questions I will ask, on your behalf every day and I will ensure that the answers to these questions reflect our motto “Strength Through Community”.

Thank you.