Chief Constable Andy Brinton issues a new badge to Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties during an official ceremony at municipal hall Tuesday. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Chief Constable Andy Brinton issues a new badge to Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties during an official ceremony at municipal hall Tuesday. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Oak Bay’s new deputy chief sworn in

Resident, experienced officer, takes leadership role in Oak Bay

Oak Bay’s new deputy chief brings a wealth of experience in communities large and small, says Chief Constable Andy Brinton.

Resident Ray Bernoties officially took the role of Deputy Chief at Oak Bay Police Department with a swearing in at municipal hall May 16.

Community policing seems “pretty central to who he is,” Brinton said. “I look forward to him bringing this to our department, to build on some of the things we’ve already done.”

Bernoties joined the RCMP in1992 and has enjoyed a career path that includes being chief of police for B.C.’s only First Nations Police Department, Officer in Charge responsible for the RCMP’s National Community Policing Programs including Child and Youth programs, Victim Services, Elder Abuse, Volunteers, and Auxiliaries; and as Officer in Charge of RCMP Communications in BC where he was responsible for all external and internal communications.

“This broad range of experience I think will only enhance our department here in Oak Bay,” Brinton said. “I look forward to having him as part of our team.”

Bernoties, a 25-year veteran with the RCMP, was most recently chief superintendent and Island District Commander, responsible for the administration and operations of the 23 RCMP detachments on Vancouver Island.

“I look forward to putting all that energy that I used to put into 23 [communities] into one [community],” Bernoties said.

“When we moved here three years ago we moved here for the same reasons probably most people talk about, and think about,” Bernoties said. That includes the village, character homes, beaches, parks, weather and proximity to everything.

“I take my hat off to the police department because I know as a police officer that even in a place as pristine and safe as Oak Bay, that just doesn’t happen without an effective police force,” he said likening it to an NHL hockey game. “You watch the game, you don’t watch the refs, but the refs are always there. Sometimes when you’re sleeping peacefully in Oak Bay and you realize what a safe and wonderful community it is, I always know it’s because the men and women of the Oak Bay Police department at two or three in the morning.”

Bernoties replaces former Deputy Chief Kent Thom who retired in February after serving Oak Bay for 12 years.

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com