Ian Grant’s career as the city’s new police chief is off to an emotional start.During his swearing-in ceremony at the Brandon Armoury on Friday, Grant was treated to a surprise appearance by his father, Robert Gordon Grant.
Robert Grant, a Second World War veteran, had secretly travelled here from Newfoundland to attend his son’s ceremony.
The elder Grant walked into the ceremony and, in front of the assembled dignitaries and police officials, delivered a salute to his son.
"It was probably one of the most moving experiences of my life," Ian Grant said following the ceremony.
Grant hadn’t expected his 93-year-old father to attend.
"When I saw him it was like a dream come true."
It was also a happy moment for his father.
"I wanted to be here today, this is a special occasion … I tell you, it was a proud day," Robert Grant said.
Ian Grant was officially sworn in as Brandon’s 18th police chief during the ceremony at the Brandon Armoury on Friday afternoon.
It represented a 28-year rise up the BPS ranks for the 53-year-old.
He replaces retiring chief Keith Atkinson.
Grant was born and raised in Corner Brook, N.L., and was educated at Memorial University.
He joined the RCMP in 1980 and served in Brandon, Wasagaming and Flin Flon before joining the Brandon Police Service in 1985.
He became a sergeant in 1992, a staff sergeant in 1996 and then an inspector in May 2001.
During his time with the Brandon force, he has worked in patrol, traffic, community services/Crime Stoppers, the crime division and administration.
He was one of the original members of the Tactical Response Unit.
A married father of two, he is currently pursuing a master’s degree in rural development at Brandon University.
During his speech, Grant pointed to the challenge of balancing rising policing costs with demands for service. He said the force has worked to be more efficient, but more needs to be done.
"We need to find ways to keep boots on the ground for front-line response," Grant said. "But equally, we need to keep boots in our schools, on bikes, on foot patrol and in rooms with businesses and citizen groups working with us on crime prevention initiatives."
Following the ceremony, Grant said his first task as the new chief will be to select an inspector to replace him, which will be done within a few weeks.
He also plans to meet with members of the city’s newly formed police board.
The new chief said there isn’t any one crime that the force needs to focus on — it needs to track all crime trends and react quickly.
"Both crime statistics and the Crime Severity Index have shown the last few years that our crime levels have come down, but we have to stay ever-vigilant," Grant said.