BY RICK PUSIAK
The cityÂ?s new police chief was sworn into office Thursday in a ceremony that reflected the many cultures and strengths of Sudbury.
Ian DavidsonÂ?s investiture in the Science North Cavern began with the national anthem followed by an aboriginal smudging ceremony conducted by Whitefish Lake First Nation elder Brian Nootchtai.
With the smell of native sweet grass in the air Kim Nootchtai pounded a hand held drum and sang the Aboriginal Welcoming Song.
Â?(Their) presence adds a traditional beauty of which I am very respectful,Â? said Davidson in his remarks.
The newly-annointed police chief later received the gift of a traditional First Nations blanket from two-year-old Jeremy Nebenionquit.
Â?To our community, I can assure you that the Greater Sudbury Police Service will remain a valuable partner,Â? said the new chief.
Â?Our commitment to our community will continue in the coming years as I truly believe that as a police service we have a duty to influence the quality of life in our city beyond traditional law enforcement initiatives.Â?
Davidson was raised in Sudbury, graduated from Sudbury Secondary School and worked underground at Inco for three years as a summer student.
He joined Ottawa police in 1978, rose to the rank of inspector in charge of criminal investigations, and was hired as Superintendent of the Sudbury police department in April 1999 following a province-wide competition.
Â?I would change very little in my career,Â? said Davidson during his speech.
Â?In fact the past 24 years has been a dream come true for me, and not because I have risen to the rank of Chief. For as satisfying as it is, and it is truly satisfying, I do not necessarily measure success through the attainment of rankÂ?I believe the true rewards in life are resident in much simpler pleasures.Â?
Presiding over the ceremony was Justice Joe Fragomeni, a friend of Davidson and a former Sudbury lawyer, who now works out of Brampton.
The crowd at the Cavern was estimated at about 300, much larger than the 250 expectedÂ?a true sign Davidson has many friends, family and peers in his hometown.
Seated in the front row were the chiefÂ?s wife, his mother, DavidsonÂ?s two high school age children and other relatives.
The 46-year-old Davidson thanked them for their understanding and unqualified support during his police career.
Â?They endured extraordinary hours, call outs in the middle of the night, shortened vacations, as well as investigations and court cases that tested our collective endurance,Â? said the chief.
Â?A significant commitment to ones profession can only be made with the support of your family who have a ringside seat to the rather unusual world in which police personnel often exist.Â?
Davidson said he is aware expectations of him as Chief are high.
He also recognizes the capacity of a leader to change the direction of an organization but believes equally in the capacity of the individual, the power of one, to make a difference at the police department and to the lives of people officers are sworn to serve.
Davidson said he has very high regard for the officers who work on the streets every day and civilian police staff.
Â?Although I am no longer on the street, my heart is there,Â? said the chief.
Â?So donÂ?t be surprised when I arrive at a call to back you up.Â?