Skip to main content

Police Commission announces departure

Saint John, New Brunswick – Saint John Police Chief Stephan Drolet has shared his intention, for personal reasons, to step down from the role, effective February 20, 2021, the Saint John Police Commission confirmed today. Prior to his appointment in February 2020, Drolet had been with the RCMP for 27 years, most recently serving as British Columbia’s deputy criminal operations officer.

“On behalf of the Commission, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Chief Drolet for his dedicated service to our city,” said Edward Keyes Q.C., Commission Chair. “His leadership and experience have been assets to the Saint John Police Force, positioning us to move forward as an organization and to ensure the people of Saint John are safe and continue to receive the highest level of service.”

“While Chief Drolet’s departure will undoubtedly be felt, he is leaving the city in good hands,” Keyes added. “One of Chief Drolet’s primary objectives over the past year was to build leadership capabilities within the Saint John Police Force. He delivered on that objective and we have a high degree of confidence in Deputy Chief Tony Hayes and the senior leadership team of the Force. Deputy Chief Hayes will lead the Force while the Commission launches a search for the next Chief.”

Deputy Chief Hayes began his career with the Saint John Police Force in 1992 rising through the ranks of Sergeant and Inspector prior to his most current role. His experience in several divisions during his career including operations, fraud and criminal investigations provides many of the key policing competencies. His openness to consider different approaches to address challenges positions him well as an interim Chief as the leadership role of policing continues to evolve.

The Commission expects to launch a renewed recruitment process immediately to fill the Chief’s position. “We have had the benefit of using Organization Consulting Limited (OCL) who led the last comprehensive search that resulted in Chief Drolet being appointed as Chief. OCL found high quality candidates with exceptional leadership skills and experience who were interested in the position. The Commission looks forward to working with OCL again as we move to fill the Chief’s position.” Keyes added.

He also noted Drolet’s departure will not slow progress on labour negotiations or strategic planning. “One of the greatest benefits of developing depth within a leadership team is the ability to adapt to changes within the team and transition with minimal disruption.”

The Saint John Board of Police Commissioners is the governance authority for the Police Force. It is responsible for appointing the Chief of Police as well for establishing a vision and actionable objectives for the community, providing oversight and ensuring accountability in the application of Police resources to accomplish its objectives.

For more information: Edward Keyes Q.C., Chair SJBPC (506) 633-2706