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8 District gets new top cop

A homecoming, of sorts, for Chris Scotland who took over Tuesday

By Mike Williscraft

A history in Niagara’s west end and family connections were just two reasons Staff Sgt. Chris Scotland jumped at the opportunity to return to 8 District, this time as Niagara Regional Police Service’s west-end district commander.

“I spend 12 years here supporting the community policing initiative. I also have three boys who live here so Grimsby is where I spent most of my time,” said Scotland, who officially took over the post Aug. 4.

“I am very familiar with the area and the challenges faced. There has been quite a bit of turnover here and I hope to stabilize that, so I am very happy to be here.”

Scotland has covered a great deal of ground since starting his career in what he called the largest slums in England in 1975.

He moved to Canada and started with Toronto police in 1979, eventually making a connection to Niagara while working the Paul Bernardo investigation.

He spent a year in Niagara as part of a security detail for a terrorist trial. After that he was hooked.

A strong proponent of police visibility and community connection, Scotland said he plans to instill that belief in his district.

“After 40 years on the job, I have an olde-fashioned style. I like to hit the pavement, walk the beat, get out into businesses to meet the people in town,” said Scotland.

“That approach seems to have had a positive effect in other communities.”

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