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Regina mayor says new police chief's 'big city' experience won board over

Mayor Sandra Masters says the city's incoming police chief won over the board with his vast "big city" experience.

Farooq Hassan Sheikh comes to the Regina Police Service (RPS) from the Alberta Sheriff’s Service where he served as the chief of the organization since 2021.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mayor Sandra Masters said it was a long selection process by the Board of Police Commissioners for the new head of the city’s police force.

Internal focus groups, interviews with RPS civilians and sworn members as well as a town hall were all organized for the process.

As a result of these events – questions like “What does the next chief of police need to look like?” and “what kind of characteristics and competencies do they need to possess?” were raised.

The job posting was issued nationwide and saw dozens of applicants – eventually leading to interviews with five contenders.

“Based upon those interviews as well as the competencies, the experience that Chief Sheikh brings – we’re confident that he’ll be an excellent chief of police.”

That experience – according to Masters – comes from a long and storied career across the pond.

“The United Kingdom has a history of community policing efforts so having been basically raised in that system, he was raised in an ethnic community,” Masters explained.

“He would talk about being one of the first individuals of a mixed race on his particular force. He was policing in the United Kingdom during riots, during austerity measures, the 2012 Olympics. So he has a real vast array of policing experience.”

“We like that big city element.”

An element which is needed – with the new challenges facing RPS.

“He has diverse policing experience from investigative to collaborating with other policing agencies,” Masters said.

“We know that RPS are facing more and more dangerous and risky situations – he would have experienced that.”

Sheikh is set to begin his role as the 15th Chief of the Regina Police Service on Dec. 1, 2023. Top Stories

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