With being a politically driven blogger, and with the state of our current Town of Orangeville Council, I haven’t had the pleasure of writing about something overly positive.
Well guess what, dear readers?? Today is the day!
A week and a half ago (or so), I got a neat message over Twitter. It said “Lisa, I would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and talk about the Orangeville Police Service and myself.”…and was from our new Chief of Police, Wayne Kalinski.
I thought to myself, “Huh, that’s kinda cool” and quickly replied that I would love to have that opportunity. So we set up a meeting date for a few days later. I was telling my husband all of this when he got home from work and he replied with “What did you do? Why does the Chief of Police want to meet with you??” LOL – Good point…hmmmmm, what did I do…..
Not able to think of any outstanding police matters, I prepared for our meeting. I had a laundry list of questions that I wanted to ask, but I was quite skeptical as to how many of them he would actually be willing to answer.
Meet the Chief
Arriving at the police station, I was quickly greeted by the Chief, sporting a warm and welcoming grin, and was escorted upstairs to his office. He couldn’t have possibly made me feel more comfortable. So we exchanged pleasantries and idle chit chat for a moment and then he looked me square in the eye and said “Ask me anything you want.” Hmmm, that’s a different approach than I was expecting. I was quick to remind him that I am a blogger and a pretty honest one at that – I was trying to give him the chance to take back what he had said about asking him anything I wanted. He laughed and said “Really, you can ask me anything.”
So, I took him up on that offer and spent close to an hour with him talking to him about the concerns that I had heard throughout my election campaign, about salaries, about lawsuits and about anything else that I could think to ask! Not only did he answer my questions, he also acknowledged the issues and let me know that rather than dwelling on the past, he is anxious to move forward. I couldn’t have been happier to hear that he is not sweeping these issues under the rug and hiding behind his office door, nor is he playing the blame game and putting it off on someone else. Instead, he is taking a proactive approach by investigating the whys behind these issues and putting new policy and procedure into place to ensure that they are preventing any of these things from happening again.
Chief Kalinski was interested to hear my thoughts on the evolution of the police services, having been a resident here for almost 25 years and asked for feedback on any dealings that I have had with the police through my time in Orangeville.
With his down-to-earth attitude and his eagerness to be open with me, it didn’t take me long to forget that I was talking to the Chief of Police – I instead felt so at ease, much like I was talking with an old friend! When asking him questions about his past experience, he was humble in his accomplishments.
He was genuine, passionate and transparent with all of his answers. He is sincere in his desire to make Orangeville a safe community where citizens are comfortable reaching out to their police service for help.
I felt that I needed to take the time to write this post and share this great experience that I had with our new Chief of Police. I left the police station feeling confident in the direction that Chief Kalinski is taking the Orangeville Police Service. In my humble opinion, this type of transparent leadership is exactly what OPS was missing!