The Altona community is in mourning today after Tuesday's sudden passing of former police chief-turned councillor and Deputy Mayor, Glen Robinson.
Hired as Chief of Police in 1991, Robinson came to the Altona Police Service after 15 years with the Brandon Police Service, and served in the role for 19 years before retiring in 2010.
Current police chief, Dan Defer, says news of Robinson's passing hit the department hard. Many current and former employees of the Altona Police Service gathered at the station Tuesday morning to share memories and stories of Robinson.
In a statement, Chief Defer said Robinson's loss will be felt for a long time, as will the legacy he left with all of the officers he trained and influenced over his career in law enforcement.
"I have heard from numerous officers, since Chief Robinson’s passing, that have commented on how his leadership allowed them to become the officers they are today, within the Altona Police Service and numerous other law enforcement agencies. Chief Robinson was committed to his officers, and gave them all the opportunity to excel in their careers."
He added, if it weren't for Robinson's guidance, leadership and, above all, his friendship, he wouldn't be in the position he is today.
Robinson's respect wasn't just limited to those who worked him, noted Chief Defer, but it extended into the community that he adopted as his home, and included many good people who found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
"A true judge of a man is by the respect he garnered by those around him," he added.
Chief Defer also credits Robinson for building the Altona Police Service in to the respected service it is today, and for expanding it to include Plum Coulee. He noted, Robinson was committed to both communities and worked in the schools, with youth and various other community organizations.
"Community-based policing wasn't just a public relations phrase for Chief Robinson, but was his core operating belief, making him one of the most respected police officers in Altona," he said.
Following his retirement from the police force in 2010, Robinson was elected to Altona Town Council. He was re-elected in 2014 and again in 2018. During his time on Council, Robinson took on a leadership role as Deputy Mayor for several years and represented the community on a variety of boards and organizations. Robinson was a strong advocate for healthcare in Altona, and was a supporter of youth sports through coaching and umpiring.
"The Town of Altona Council and staff are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Deputy Mayor, Councillor and Police Chief Glen Robinson," read a statement issued by the Town Wednesday morning.
“Glen served with distinction as Altona Police Chief, coming to us from Brandon Police Service. He spent 11 years as a member of Altona Town Council, during which time he was on many community committees, and enjoyed being “in the know”, " added Mayor Al Friesen. "He encouraged me to run for the post of Deputy Mayor, and then filled the Deputy Mayor post himself when I became Mayor. Glen loved his wife Tan, his dog Cooper, golfing with his buddies, shiny new tools, which he lent willingly to many in the community (even though some of us have not returned them), and his role as DIY expert at the lumberyard. Tan, on behalf of our Council, staff and the residents of Altona, our most sincere condolences. Glen was a good man.”