Police Chief Antje McNeely was introduced by John Farrow. John and President Ana mentioned how pleased they are to have Chief McNeely speaking at this time of International Woman’s Day with this year's theme being “Break the Bias”. 


Antje McNeely was appointed Chief of our Police Force in late 2018. Her appointment as the 17th chief and the first female police chief of the 181 year old force continued her groundbreaking career within our police force. She has led in the first of many firsts within the police force.


Chief McNeely joined the police force in 1985 following completion of a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1961, the first woman was hired by the police force,staying for 3 years. In 1966 Linda Paul was an early hire. She emphasised to Chief McNeely “Do not change who you are”. 


During her career, Antje McNeely established many firsts within the police force. In 1989, she was the first officer to go on maternity leave. With a young family, she faced many challenges with evening/weekend shifts. In 1992, Antje McNeely was promoted to Sergeant in charge of the sexual assault unit for 10 years. During this time she developed protocols for the working relationship between the  police force and community providers. 


Over the next 26 years, Chief McNeely was promoted 4 times, including Staff Sergeant (2002); Inspector (2005), responsible for the Patrol Division; Deputy Chief (2011) and as Chief of Police in 2018.


Chief McNeely discussed the many approaches and steps that have been undertaken taken by our police force in developing standards for woman to provide equal opportunity for all force members. 


Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenization (EDI) is very important in building community engagement, trust and confidence with the City and the police force.


John Farrow commented on the importance of non-violent intervention by police. Chief McNeely responded that roll playing is actively used for training purposes within the police force. 


Bill Egnatoff thanked Chief McNeely for the active participation by the police force with Rotary’s “Adventures in History” program. Bill further commented on societal changes occurring in our community. Chief McNeely responded on the important strategies being utilized by the police force including Focus Groups and bringing forth new actions that take such topics as Residential Schools, Black and multicultural issues into consideration.


Chief McNeely further commented on the importance of reestablishing engagement with the community post Covid and post Zoom.


Leslie Frise thanked Chief McNeely for her presentation making particular mention of the collaborative positioning of the police force working with community services/partners. Leslie agreed with the importance of our police not being first responders as reported by Chief McNeely, but rather, relying upon community service providers with support from the police force, if necessary.  


Leslie further noted the very positive changes being made in policing, especially within our Kingston police force under Chief McNelly’s leadership.


A hybrid loaf of bread, our traditional thank you for the guest speaker, was presented by Leslie to Chief McNeely who requested that the loaf be shared with one of the Kingston food programs for their clientele.