Newly promoted Oak Bay Police Chief Ray Bernoties with Sgt. Manny Montero, who emceed the swearing in ceremony on Aug. 31. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay appoints new police chief

Andy Brinton retires, Ray Bernoties new chief

A group of kids from summer camp screaming with joy as they played on the nearby playground set up a fitting sign-off for outgoing Oak Bay Police Chief Andy Brinton, who retired on Monday morning.

“It’s fitting that there are the voices of children playing, this is about community,” said new Deputy Chief Mark Fisher, who returns to Oak Bay, having previously acted as Oak Bay Police Chief from 2011 to 2014.

The outdoor ceremony minted new Oak Bay Police Chief Ray Bernoties, just before he and Brinton signed over the bearer of responsibility for the Oak Bay Police Department. It was a morning event that was borderline informal with the new chief’s family in the front row of the socially-distanced gathering.

“We call him Andy now,” Bernoties joked.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay Police investigate man discreetly filming at Willows Beach

For Bernoties, it’s a promotion after 3.5 years as deputy chief in Oak Bay and 25 years with the RCMP before that.

“I’m so proud,” Bernoties said, getting a little emotional on Monday. “It’s easy to police when you love the community so much. Having my own kids here, with one at Willows, and one at Monterey, and through coaching [sports], and through my wife’s connections, it keeps me connected to the community.”

Fisher wasn’t in uniform on Monday (still waiting for a couple of pieces to arrive) but has been in the station to get acquainted before starting this week.

Expect to see Fisher on his bike. Cycling is a binding theme for Brinton, Fisher and Bernoties, who are avid cyclists. During his previous tenure, Fisher would mount his Oak Bay Police bike every Friday afternoon and use it as a vehicle to connect with the community.

Fisher spent 2.5 years in 2014 to 2016 as Officer in Charge of Nanaimo (chief) where he reported to Bernoties, who was Superintendent for Vancouver Island RCMP at the time. Fisher then spent two years as the Assistant Commissioner of RCMP for Saskatchewan.

“This is a great opportunity for me to come back to a place I know well,” Fisher said. “I know many of the members and have an even greater appreciation for the style of policing here, the level of impact you can have with the community and the level of support from the community.”

Brinton, 58, is off for his first adventure as a retiree with wife Jocelyne, who has also retired after a career in nursing, to bike the Kettle Valley Railway next week.

“My wife was in nursing almost as long as I was in policing and both of our careers are providing service, we just want to enjoy life a bit for ourselves,” said Brinton, who served 6.5 years in Oak Bay after a career with the RCMP in B.C. “We want to enjoy what Victoria has to offer, we fell in love with his area.”

A big piece of Brinton’s legacy is the current staff as he oversaw the hiring of about 15 officers. It is happenstance that more than half the staff turned over during his tenure. There are 27 positions on the force, but actually, only 23, as four are on secondment elsewhere (where they are externally funded).

“I hired [new members] with a philosophy that every person have a passion or interest that they can follow,” Brinton said. “We have members into training, into wellness and into working with youth. So I encourage them to do that on the job and at the end of the day we have an organization with all these aspects to it.”

That also included the hiring of several women officers, closing the gender gap. He also promoted two women to sergeant in the past year, Sheri Lucas and Sandrine Perry (they join Manny Montero, Rob Smith, Jim Hull, Mike Martin and Davinder Dalep).

“Many members have reached retirement age, some have left mid-career to pursue things we don’t have, and I don’t begrudge them that, just as we find members mid-career who come here,” Brinton said.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Oak Bay Police Department

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay High voting station was slow and steady for the provincial election day, Oct. 24, 2020. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Early voting reduces election day turnout in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

An estimated 15,918 mail-in ballots requested in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Drive up voting is popular with Victoria-Swan Lake voters at the Craigflower elementary polling station. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Drive up voting popular at Craigflower polling station in Victoria-Swan Lake

Nearly 13,000 mail-in ballots were requested in the Victoria-Swan Lake riding

Polls close at 8 p.m. in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)
VIDEO: Esquimalt-Metchosin candidates reflect on campaign as polls close

An estimated 12,000 mail-in ballots were requested in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding

This was the line-up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre at around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The short-up line speaks to the high number of votes, which have already been cast against the backdrop of COVID-19 by mail or in advanced voting. Voters, however, unanimously praised the safety measures in place, as well the convenience of the polling stations. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
‘Slow’ turnout at polls across Saanich North and the Islands

Peter Mason, district electoral officer, expects about 10,000 ballots to be cast

Barb Wright and Cynthia Vance at the District Electoral Office for the Langford-Juan de Fuca (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Polls now closed in Langford-Juan de Fuca

An estimated 12,120 mail-in ballots were requested in the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Most Read