CBRM council names Robert Walsh police chief

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Former deputy chief Robert Walsh has been named chief of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service after a year in the acting role. (Tom Ayers/CBC - image credit)
Former deputy chief Robert Walsh has been named chief of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service after a year in the acting role. (Tom Ayers/CBC - image credit)

Robert Walsh is no longer acting chief of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service. He's now the chief.

At a meeting Tuesday night, Cape Breton Regional Municipality council accepted the recommendation from its human resources committee and made the appointment effective immediately.

Walsh has been a police officer for 30 years and was most recently deputy chief and then acting chief.

Coun. James Edwards praised Walsh's promotion.

"I've known acting chief Walsh for several years and I also know several policemen and know that he has the greatest respect among his peers and the public alike," Edwards said.

Deputy Mayor Earlene MacMullin said the committee's choice was not a foregone conclusion.

Walsh has done 'outstanding job,' says deputy mayor

"I just want to let residents know that it's not a matter of just stamping, you know, oh, you've been doing the job, here it is," she said.

"No. The suggestion I believe came forward because it's an outstanding job I believe that acting chief Walsh is doing and has done."

Walsh has two degrees from Cape Breton University and completed a French immersion program at Université Sainte-Anne in Church Point, N.S.

He has worked on patrol, in traffic services, street crime and drug enforcement, major crime investigations and emergency response. He also served briefly with the RCMP.

Walsh had been deputy chief under Peter McIsaac until the summer of 2019, when McIsaac abruptly went on sick leave.

Walsh was named acting chief in February 2020 and council officially launched the search for a new chief in February of this year.

Last month, McIsaac decided to break his silence and revealed he has been off work for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

He said the diagnosis surprised him, the treatment had been difficult and he only recently come to the conclusion that he would not be able to return to work.

On Tuesday, councillors also thanked McIsaac for his work as chief.

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