Prince Albert Police Chief Jonathan Bergen has announced the appointment of a new Inspector who will oversee the patrol section of the service.
Lisa Simonson was recently serving in the Sergeant rank and has now been appointed to Inspector. She will be responsible for the oversight of patrol, including four staff sergeants, eight sergeants, and more than 30 constables. Inspector Simonson will be responsible for aligning practices and service delivery on patrol with police service policies, priorities, and legislation.
The appointment follows the death of a young child from our community February 10. Patrol officers were dispatched to a call for service at a residence in the 200 Block of 23rd Street West at approximately 5:44 a.m. February 10. Officers were called back to the same residence around 11 a.m. that same day for a report of a homicide involving a child.
As required under Section 54.1 of The Police Act 1990, Chief Bergen has caused an investigation into the initial police response to the residence and the Public Complaints Commission is investigating. Specific details about the police response or the circumstances of the file cannot be disclosed due to the investigation now underway. However, in the days since, Chief Bergen has determined that a structure change is needed within the organization.
Prior to this change, the patrol division was one of many other responsibilities of oversight that an Inspector was responsible for, including police detention and custody.
“We know that our police officers face an increasing number of calls for service each year, and it has become more difficult to manage every call as thoroughly as required,” Chief Bergen said. “We need to make sure we are fully compliant with policy, legislation, and best practices, and that is driving this change.”
Inspector Simonson has 22 years of experience as a police officer and previously worked with both the Edmonton and Vancouver Police Services, and has a background in science through the University of Alberta and police and security through MacEwan University. Before her promotion, Inspector Simonson spent five years in the major crime section of our Criminal Investigation Division. She has experience working in a number of other areas of the police service as well, including patrol, court and report management, witness protection, special project teams and family safety.
Inspector Simonson was recognized with an award for Innovation in Policing in 2014 for her work with the Prince Albert Community Alcohol Strategy Steering Committee. In 2020, Inspector Simonson helped found the new Saskatchewan Women in Policing (SWIP) organization promoting opportunities for women in public safety, and became its inaugural president.
“Inspector Simonson is a caring and compassionate leader who brings extensive knowledge and experience to this position and is known for being thorough with a strong focus on attention to detail in her work. I look forward to working together more on our shared goals in service to our community,” Chief Bergen said.