Dan Defer says it's still sinking in that he's been selected as the new Chief of Police for the communities of Altona and Plum Coulee.

"I am honoured by having the (Altona) Police Board select me as leading this group," he said. "This is a great group of officers."

His first day in the position was September 1st. 
Starting out as a Constable in the Altona Police Service 33 years ago, Defer has spent the past number of years as Sergeant where he was second-in-command, and also stepped in to fill the Acting Chief of Police position whenever needed. A Town of Altona news release indicated Defer has also taken countless courses and training opportunities to ensure he has the knowledge and skills to provide the community with professional and dedicated service. As well, in 2019, he received the Governor General’s Police Exemplary Service Medal, which recognizes Canadian police officers who have served in an exemplary manner, characterized by good conduct, industry, and efficiency.

Defer admits, becoming the Chief of Police was never really a goal he'd laid out for himself as he moved up the ranks. 

"This is the line (of work) that I chose. It's not that I was working towards this position, it was working as a law enforcement officer and then it just progressed," he explained. "I was quite happy in every position I had...it was the job that I was interested in."

The Town of Altona also noted that Defer has a deep knowledge and understanding of the communities of Altona and Plum Coulee, and is committed to providing these communities with a strong, professional, ethical, and dedicated police service. 

Defer feels this experience will serve him well in this new role.

"I wasn't applying to become a Chief of Police in just any community. This is the community that I've been in for three decades and so, I think it's an asset. I know the community, I know the officers. I know what's worked here and what hasn't," he said.

Still new to the position, Defer says he hasn't yet identified any areas that require change within the department, noting Chief Robinson and Chief Batchelor laid a great foundation to build up on over the last three decades.

“The board is very proud to announce that Dan Defer is the new Chief of Police for Altona and the LUD of Plum Coulee. The communities will continue to see the same great service tomorrow and into the future as it has in the past. The board is looking forward to working with Chief Dan Defer as we continue to enhance public safety through quality core policing services, enhance organizational 
development to meet future needs, promote internal and external relationships through proactive communication, ensure sustainable service through sound fiscal management and continued succession planning within the service,” said Audrey Schmidt, Chair of the Altona Police Board .

“Chief Defer has protected our community and our families for over 30 years and knows our town inside and out. Town of Altona Council members join me in congratulating our new Chief in this important step forward for our town, and Dan's career. We also recognize and appreciate the thorough search conducted by Chair Audrey Schmidt and other members of the Altona Police Board,” said Al Friesen, Mayor of Altona.

Defer's appointment also got the nod of approval from his predecessor.

“I fully support the hiring committee’s decision on the promotion of Sergeant Defer to Chief of Police of the Altona Police Service. Dan has a wealth of knowledge with respect to the police universe, our communities, and their needs. I have every confidence that all members of the Altona Police Service will continue to work as hard for Chief Defer as they did for me. I wish him all the best in the future,” said Retired Chief of Police Perry Batchelor.