Hamilton's new police chief wants data and technology to play bigger role in service delivery

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The Hamilton Police Service (HPS) has a new chief.

It was announced Friday (May 7) that former Toronto police officer and long-time Hamilton resident, Frank Bergen would take the reigns of the sixth largest police service in Ontario and become the 36th chief in the history of the HPS.

"Frank has been a valued member of the Hamilton Police Service since joining us after a  stellar career with Toronto Police Service,” said Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who is also the Chair of the Police Services Board. “His openness to new ideas and a solid understanding of the issues facing the Hamilton community make him an excellent choice to move the organization forward.”

The search for a new chief began after the retirement of Eric Girt in February.

Bergen spent 65 with the Toronto Police Service and served as deputy chief with Hamilton Police Service since 2018.

The board says the results of a community survey were taken into consideration, asking Hamiltonians what qualities were important in hiring the new chief.

Over 450 individuals submitted input on the process, according to the board.

"We clearly heard the focus should be on transparency, innovation and partnerships,” added Eisenberger. “Frank has clearly demonstrated his commitment to working in partnership with the community,  bringing an innovative approach to the delivery of police services and above all, delivering the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.”

Bergen has been credited with playing a key role in the Toronto Police modernization strategy, which included a greater focus on data and technology to help shape service delivery. 

"We recognize that policing faces challenges but I believe we can turn those challenges into opportunities and create a Hamilton Police Service that enhances innovation, sustainability and affordability," said Chief Bergen.

"By working together, we can create a model that will place communities at its core, will be data-driven and optimize the use of resources and technology. We will do all this while embracing partnerships as a means of enhancing our capability and capacity. 

Bergen attended Toronto's Rotman School of Management Police Leadership program and has been a Police Services Act Prosecutor and Hearing Officer.

He was awarded the Thirty Years Exemplary Police Service medal from the Governor General of Canada and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.  

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