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Vagnini to serve another term as police board chair

Vagnini to serve another term as police board chair
Pictured are Greater Sudbury Police Board vice-chair Dr. Rayudu Koka, left, chair Michael Vagnini and Greater Sudbury Police Chief Paul Pedersen. (Supplied)

Ward 1 Coun. Michael Vagnini was will serve another term as chair of the Greater Sudbury Police Board, after he was elected Wednesday at the board's first meeting of 2020.

Dr. Rayudu Koka was elected vice-chair of the five-person board, which includes two city councillors (Ward 6 Coun. René Lappiere is the other), two provincial appointees (Koka and Richard Bois) and one council appointee (former Ward 10 Coun. Fran Caldarelli). 

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as chair for an additional term,” Vagnini is quoted as saying in a news release. “Together with my board colleagues, we continue to lead the way in community safety and well being. 

“Our board continues to tackle issues and priorities always in the interest of member wellness and public safety. Greater Sudbury Police Service is committed to modernizing our service through innovation and best practices. Our Strategic Plan serves as the directional road map for policing in Sudbury with a results driven approach.” 

“This board has a proud tradition of working together to meet the goals and objectives of service and the community,” Koka said in the release. “We continue to grow, evolve, and respond to the ever-changing needs of the profession.” 

This is Koka's second stint serving on the board – he was a member from 2005-2010, served as vice-chair in 2006 and 2007, and as chair from 2008-2010.

Chief Paul Pedersen congratulated Vagnini and Koka in the release, saying their experience serving on the board is key. 

“As policing continues to face many challenges and opportunities, we are fortunate to have their leadership and that of the board as we tackle many complex evolving issues,” Pedersen said in the release. “There is much momentum and leading edge work underway on the policing front.

“On behalf of the entire service I extend our thanks for their dedication and hard work and I look forward to continuing to work together to deliver on our strategic directions in the coming year.” 

The board provides direction and guidance to the police chief of “while ensuring that adequate and effective police services are provided in accordance with the needs of the municipality,” the release said. 

“As civilian community members who represent the public's interests, the police services board is committed to a high quality of community-based policing and excellence in police governance.”