‘A powerful feeling:’ Bergen sworn in as police chief

Chief Jonathon Bergen signs the oath at his swearing-in ceremony. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Jayda Noyes, Daily Herald

Jonathon Bergen was surrounded by family, the board of police commissioners and past and present members of the Police Albert Police Service (PAPS) as he officially became chief on Monday.

The swearing-in ceremony, conducted by Provincial Court Judge Earl Kalenith, consisted of Bergen reciting and signing an oath.

Chief Jonathon Bergen recites the oath at his swearing-in ceremony. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

He said every time he looked up, he felt a sense of family with the other police officers.

“It was quite a powerful feeling to know that they’ve got my back,” said Bergen.

“It’s not really a feeling of nervousness. It’s hard to describe, really,” he said. “There would be nerves, absolutely, but so much more than that.”

His daughter Breanna sang O Canada to the crowd of people who packed City Hall’s foyer.

Bergen’s wife Johanna was also part of the ceremony.

After Elder Priscilla Joseph prayed for his family’s health, she and Richard Ahenakew presented the couple with a star blanket.

In his speech, Bergen emphasized compassion for victims and inclusivity and team work within the service as they reconstruct.

“We’ve been in a term of transition where we went nearly a year without a police chief and there was two different acting police chiefs, I was one of them, but that uncertainty over that period of time—without that permanent leadership, (there’s) a gap,” he said.

“We’re going to enhance morale and I think we’re going to get stronger as we rebuild and I think that we’re looking ahead at the future, not the past. We are a progressive police service. We’ve always been.”

Bergen is announcing his deputy chief next week. Jason Stonechild is currently filling the acting position.

Then, they’ll appoint inspectors in January.