Volume 92, Issue 32

Friday, October 30, 1998

big money


A new chief rides into town

Tom Baumgartner/Gazette

Gazette Staff

The London police services board has appointed Albert Gramolini as London's new chief of police.

The announcement was made yesterday in a press conference held to introduce Gramolini, who is currently the district officer for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Ontario. "It's an honour having been selected," he said.

As the new chief, Gramolini said his top priority is to address current changes in a systematic way and continue strengthening police relations with the community.

Gramolini, who described himself as a participatory type of leader, said his biggest challenge will be the transition into the role of chief of police.

Mayor Dianne Haskett said she was pleased with the announcement of Gramolini's new role in the community. "I'm impressed with his professionalism and I know he'll bring good attributes to the position," she said.

The announcement was very important to London police and police officers were very curious to know who would be named, said Sgt. John O'Flaherty. "Police officers are usually very inquisitive, but this is the best kept secret I've heard of."

Insp. Bob Earle, of the University Police Department, said he was also eagerly awaiting the announcement.

He said the decision would greatly impact campus police. "There is a very close and formal relationship between the campus police and the London police services board," he said.

When asked if he had any new plans for police relations with Western, Gramolini said he had not given it any thought. "I haven't had an opportunity to think about it."

The search for a new chief began last August, when Julian Fantino left his position as chief of London police to become chief of the York Regional olice.

Doug Colling, of KPMG Consulting in London, said the the decision to appoint Gramolini was based on an extensive survey of senior staff from across the country. "We were not looking for the traditional command-and-control type leader," Colling said. The search was based on criteria such as technical experience, leadership vision, communication skills, personal integrity and the ability to form links with the community and businesses.

Orlando Zamprogna, chair of the London police services board, said candidates' names were not released to ensure the process was conducted in a fair manner. Zamprogna added the position of chief of police is a five-year contract with a salary of $125,000 a year.

Gramolini's attitude was positive as he accepted the position. "I'm confident that by working together, we'll continue leadership that will enable us to meet future challenges."

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Copyright The Gazette 1998