Spowart named new CPS Chief

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By Nick Seebruch
Spowart named new CPS Chief
Out going CPS Chief Danny Aikman and Chief Designate Shawna Spowart when they were named Chief and Deputy Chief respectively in 2018 (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) has a new Chief designate. CPS Deputy Chief Shawna Spowart has been named to succeed Chief Danny Aikman, who announced his retirement last month.

Spowart has been a member of the CPS for 26 years and has spent the past three of them serving as Deputy Chief alongside Aikman.

“I am deeply, deeply honoured that the Board has entrusted me with serving as the next Chief of Police,” Spowart said. “This gives me an opportunity to give back to a community and police service that has given so much to me.”

Spowart will be the first female Chief of Police in Cornwall’s history and the first open member of the LGBT community.

RELATED: Cornwall Police Service Chief Danny Aikman announces retirement

“I’m very proud to be a part of this announcement of Shawna Spowart as the first female Chief of the Cornwall Police Service,” said Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement.

Clement herself became the first female Mayor of the City of Cornwall in 2018.

“Just a little bit of advice from one first to another. It can be heavy to bear the weight at first, but don’t let it slow you down. Let yourself be inspired by the young people who see themselves reflected in you,” Clement said.

Mayor Clement also thanked Chief Aikman for his over 40 years of service to the City of Cornwall, citing his service as Chief in guiding the city through the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the conversation around policing that came after the killing of George Floyd in the United States.

Police Services Board Chair Glen Grant praised Spowart’s appointment.

“We are pleased to see Shawna Spowart become the first female Police Chief of the Cornwall Police Service,” said Grant. “She has demonstrated strong leadership skills through her many years of service with the CPS and partnering agencies. Her modern approach to policing will assist the Service to evolve with the changing needs of the community and we look forward to seeing her many accomplishments as Chief.”

Spowart said that she recognized the significance of being named the first female police chief of the City of Cornwall.

“As I said in my interview I have spent most of my career to distract from being female,” she said. “I believe that I reached this milestone not because I’m female, but in spite of it.”

Spowart also outlined her vision for issues she wished to address as Chief, including rising opioid overdoses, the mental health of CPS employees, and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

“A modern day police service cannot exist without the prioritization of diversity, equity and inclusivity,” Spowart said. “It doesn’t end until we’ve eliminated the existence of systemic barriers.”

Spowart will be officially installed as the new CPS Chief on Oct. 29, 2021

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