Paul Ladouceur recounts time as Estevan police chief
By Canadian Press
By Canadian Press
April 18, 2021 – As outgoing Estevan Police Chief Paul Ladouceur began his last day on the job Friday, he underscored his choice to leave “has absolutely nothing to do with so-called pressure from the Sask. fed. (Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers, SFPO) or from social media posts.”
Ladouceur tendered his resignation last week following seven years leading the Estevan Police Service.
The Leader-Post last week reported Ladouceur was dealing with union pressure from the SFPO. The provincewide police officer’s union believes Ladouceur and Estevan’s board of police commissioners inappropriately handled Workers Compensation Board (WCB) claims filed by late constable Jay Pierson, by appealing those claims.
“I’ve committed to seven years, so this isn’t the case of running for the hills. This is a case of, I came to this province and to this community to lead a police service with a contract of five years and chose to stay for seven,” Ladouceur said.
He said he’s to pursue other opportunities, though he wouldn’t elaborate, except to say “stay tuned.”
And he’s looking forward to a month off work, after seven years of putting in “60- to 70-hour work weeks.”
His resignation “was a discussion my family and I were having prior to (Pierson’s WCB claims), about timelines for a chief and when’s the right time,” he said.
The outgoing chief declined to speak about Pierson’s death. “I’ve been asked by the family not to make any public comment on that. I have honoured that.”
Ladouceur said “in reality it’s very difficult” as a chief coming from outside the force and outside of Estevan.
“There are without a doubt a small group of individuals I’m certain that would have preference for a chief from within, but unfortunately that’s not the case; the board does that selection,” he said.
He added, “some, they unfortunately look to recent events and say `is this an option to have a change in leadership?’ ”
Despite that, Ladouceur is leaving “with no animosity. I leave (the service) with no anger. I wish it nothing but the best.”
He commended Estevan’s police members, saying he’s “leaving with a very heavy heart.”
He also noted he wished he could have improved communication.
“(It) has been a challenge in this organization. I can tell you we have brought third parties in to do interviews with some of our members. There was not a whole lot of buy-in.”
Estevan Mayor Roy Ludwig said last week the city is to begin searching and recruiting for a new chief.
Sgt. Warren Morrical is to serve as the interim chief.