Niagara Region is set to get a new police chief as Bryan MacCulloch prepares to retire after decades of service. He will officially retire on Feb. 1. MacCulloch has been serving as Niagara Region’s chief of police since September 2017. Photo Credit: NRPS.
Niagara Region is set to get a new police chief as Bryan MacCulloch prepares to retire after decades of service. He will officially retire on Feb. 1.
MacCulloch has been serving as Niagara Region’s chief of police since September 2017.
The police chief has served Niagara Region residents for nearly 40 years. He first joined the force in 1984 as a constable in St. Catharines and steadily rose up throughout the ranks.
Before becoming chief, MacCulloch served in a number of senior leadership positions, including with District Operations, the Marine Unit, the Tactical Unit, and several others. MacCulloch also spent several years as a detective.
MacCulloch first applied to work for the Niagara Region Police when he turned 18. While not initially hired, MacCulloch received a call mid-way through a computer programming degree asking him to join the force.
MacCulloch’s job immediately preceding his stint as chief of police was as a deputy chief responsible for operational services.
Investment in the Niagara Region’s police force grew under MacCulloch’s watch. In 2017, the year he was hired, the Region spent $155.9 million on the police budget. That’s set to grow to a $190.4 million this year.
Perhaps the most well-known event that occurred on MacCulloch’s watch was a 2018 incident in which one Niagara police officer shot a fellow officer in Pelham. Both officers are now retired from the force and blamed each other for the incident. Charges were laid soon after the incident but were later dropped.
MacCulloch is very involved in the Niagara community personally. He serves as a member of the Board of United Way in the Niagara Region and has volunteered for other organizations, including the Big Brothers Big Sisters of North and West Niagara, Welland Minor Hockey Association, and several more.
MacCulloch is also a recipient of the Governor General of Canada’s Peace Officer Exemplary service Medal Bar and is a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, another honour bestowed by the Governor General.
In announcing his impending retirement last July, MacCulloch issued a reflective statement on his career and years as police chief.
“It’s truly been an honour to serve as the 9th Chief of Police in the history of Niagara Regional Police Service,” said MacCulloch. “Throughout my tenure as Chief, I have witnessed firsthand the compassion, empathy, and the selfless dedication of our members, while they served and protected our community through some of the most unprecedented and challenging times in our history.”
MacCulloch went on to thank his friends and family and noted that it will be bittersweet to leave his role.
“While not an easy decision, I leave this incredible organization confident in the leadership, professionalism, and the unwavering commitment of our members to continue to provide the highest quality of policing to the citizens of Niagara, while continuing to meet the needs of our community,” MacCulloch said.
MacCulloch’s deputy, Brett Flynn, will also retire on the same date, after having served himself in the police force for more than 33 years.
MacCulloch’s successor will be announced first. After that announcement, the search will ramp up for Flynn’s replacement.
Jay Goldberg is the Ontario Director at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. He previously served as a policy fellow at the Munk School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. Jay holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto.