WINDSOR -- The Windsor Police Service has named a new chief.
Pam Mizuno was announced as chief on Friday morning by Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens at St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School in south Windsor.
Mizuno is the first woman to hold the position in the 152 year history of Windsor police.
The announcement was a complete surprise for Mizuno. Police say she thought she was visiting the school her daughters attend for a presentation, but instead her daughters presented her with new epaulets after being named Chief.
"I'm not a huge fan of surprises, however this was a very pleasant surprise," says Mizuno.
Mizuno has been acting as interim chief since Al Frederick's retirement on June 30. At June's police services board meeting, Dilkens said three candidates were short listed for the job.
"At the end of the day, we had the best talent right in our backyard," says Dilkens.
Mizuno brings more than 25 years of experience as a police officer to the job.
"We looked at skill, we looked at competency, past experience,” says Dilkens.
Mizuno became a patrol officer in 1994, before taking on the role of sergeant and staff sergeant with the drugs and guns unit. In 2016, she was named a superintendent. Two years later, she became deputy chief.
According to Stats Canada, women with senior status such as chief, superintendent or inspector, make up only 15 per cent of the police jobs in the country.
"It's exciting to be a role model for women, a role model for everybody," says Mizuno.
Dilkens says they were looking for the best candidate.
"At the core, we are hiring the best candidate and it just happened to be a female," says Dilkens.
Dilkens says there are a number of top priority issues to address.
"We had discussions about opioids and safe injection sites, we had those discussion around the interview table," says Dilkens.
“Of course there are issues with addiction and homelessness opioids and I think moving forward we need to collaborate with our community partners and work together to find some solutions," adds Mizuno.
.@drewdilkens announces Pam Mizuno as the new Chief of @WindsorPolice. She was surprised with the news in front of hundreds of students at St. GABRIEL Catholic School where her 2 daughters attend. Mizuno is the first female Chief in Windsor’s history. @CTVWindsor pic.twitter.com/BsLrzzFQa5— Stefanie Masotti (@SMasottiCTV) October 4, 2019