Saanich police Chief Mike Chadwick plans to retire in January after a 39-year career with the department.

Saanich’s top cop to retire in January

After a 39-year career with the Saanich Police Department, Chief Const. Mike Chadwick says he plans to retire early next year.

After a 39-year career with the Saanich Police Department, Chief Const. Mike Chadwick says he plans to retire early next year.

Chadwick, 59, was promoted in August 2009 from deputy chief, taking over from longtime police chief Derek Egan.

“It’s been a fantastic experience. I can’t say enough about the professionalism and the dedication these folks show day in and day out,” Chadwick said.

While there’s no word yet on how the job application process will proceed to find a new chief, Chadwick says he has the utmost confidence in the people he’s worked with for the last four years as chief.

“The folks that are coming along are doing fantastic, and I certainly want to give them an opportunity to perform in higher ranks, and lead the organization the way I think they’re going to be able to lead it,” he said. Bob Downie is Saanich’s current deputy police chief.

Chadwick spent his entire career with Saanich, save for working as a summer student in Oak Bay when he was completing the criminal justice program at Camosun College in the early 1970s.

“When I was a kid growing up in Duncan, my dad had a business next to the RCMP detachment there,” he said. “I got to know a lot of the guys. I just liked the way they were, I liked hearing why they got into policing and the difference they got to make.

“I thought it would be a great career if I could actually make a difference in people’s lives. It was something really interesting to me, something I could latch on to for the rest of my life.”

Chadwick says once he retires on Jan. 31, 2014, he plans to spend time with his family: his wife, five kids, and three grandchildren.

“My wife and I will do some travelling. I’m not looking for any further employment,” Chadwick said, adding he’ll likely focus on volunteer work. “I’m very interested in volunteering and giving back to the community that’s provided me so much over the years.”

kslavin@saanichnews.com