November 16 2021
HAMILTON, ON – Mayor Fred Eisenberger is vacating his role effective November 26th as Chair of the Hamilton Police Services Board and exiting the board, fulfilling his commitment to not serve an entire term and make way for a new Chair and a new board pick that potentially boosts diversity.
Eisenberger says he originally intended serving two years on the board but the challenges of the pandemic plus the need to recruit and appoint a new Chief and Deputy Chief extended the time frame.
Exiting now would both create the opportunity for a new board Chair and a new Council representative on the board with a full year remaining during the current Council term.
“Although the decision is Council’s to make, my wish would be that the opportunity be taken to increase the inclusivity and diversity of the police services board, and by ‘diversity’ I include increased gender parity,” says Eisenberger. “To my knowledge, Council has not appointed a female to the Police Services Board in the past 30 years if ever.
“That was my stated intention when I assumed the position of board Chair and I am now pleased to fulfill that commitment.”
Eisenberger is giving notice about his intention to leave the board and provide Council with the opportunity to pick a new board representative at its Nov. 24 Council meeting. Eisenberger will attend his last police services board meeting on Nov. 25th.
Eisenberger pointed to several accomplishments during his tenure, including:
- Appointment of the first full-time Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ Liaison officer to work with Hamilton’s Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ community. This officer acts as a conduit to address community concerns and initiates outreach to provide information about police process, particularly around how individuals can report to police, as well as providing a safe space for individuals to come forward to address concerns or report crime.
- Appointment of a new diversity and inclusion specialist position. The first of its kind role for the HPS.
- Opening of a new police investigative services building which houses state-of-the-art forensics services.
- Moved and approved the motion to end carding at the HPS, which is the stopping, questioning, and documenting of individuals when no particular offence is being investigated. Also advocated against random police checks during pandemic stay-at-home orders.
- The development of the police service’s first business plan, a road map that sets direction as police serve and protect in partnership with our communities. The goals and objectives contained in the plan were developed through consultation with the community and key priorities include community safety, engagement and partnerships, people and performance, and technology and asset management.
- Increased engagement and consultation with the public including virtual townhalls. Nearly 15,000 randomly-selected people took part in two townhall meetings in January 2021 during which a polling question posed found more than 85 per cent who said they are either satisfied or very satisfied with the Hamilton Police Service.
“Policing is more challenging than ever before, but Hamilton’s police service is meeting these challenges in exemplary fashion,” says Eisenberger.
“Hamiltonians are justifiably proud of their police. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve with current and past members of the board. I have never ceased to be impressed by the men and women, sworn officers and civilian members, I have had the pleasure to meet and work with and I thank them above all for all that they do to serve our community.”