Bryan Larkin vows to make Waterloo "best police service in Ontario"

Bryan Larkin, the newly-appointed chief of the Waterloo Regional Police Service, is promising to make his new force the "best police service in Ontario" by focusing on community building and youth mentorship.
Former Guelph police chief Brian Larkin is the new head of the Waterloo Region Police Service. (Jane Van Koeverden)

Bryan Larkin, the new chief of the Waterloo Regional Police Service, has an ambitious goal for his new gig.

"My vision is very simple," he told Craig Norris on The Morning Edition Wednesday. "It's really to build the best police service in Ontario and then we'll expand that to Canada."

"I really want us to be the best, want to ensure that everything we're doing is top notch," he said.  

Larkin says he wants to do that by focusing on community building and youth mentorship, and one of the ways he'll measure his success is through the trust people show police.

"You can only police in a democratic society with community trust," he said.

"At the end of the day, I think when people still call the police, when people still reach out in times of need, that in itself is a signal that they trust when we show up, something positive is going to happen." 

Larkin replaced Matt Torigian, who stepped down as chief in April to accept a job as the deputy minister of community safety and correctional services with the Ontario government.

He says at first he wasn't sure about going through the process of becoming chief of WRPS.

"I had really convinced myself that I shouldn't do this," said Larkin.

"As some time passed on, and some discussion with police leaders and police mentors, [I] really thought two years from now I didn't want to be regretting the decision not to roll the dice and to see."

Larkin aims for stability

Waterloo Region residents shouldn't expect radical changes to the force with Larkin at the helm. 

"The great thing here is that Waterloo Regional and the service is a well-functioning organization," he said.

"This isn't about going in and creating all this change, in fact I view my role as to come in and bring some stability, some calm in the sense that whenever a leader leaves an organization, the waters get a bit choppy, there's an unsettling," said Larkin about his plans for the WRPS.