Sarnia Police Chief Phil Nelson to Retire

It is with regret I am announcing, on behalf of the Sarnia Police Services Board, the retirement of Sarnia Police Chief Phil Nelson, effective June 1st, 2018, in his 44th year of service to the people of Sarnia.


Phil joined the Sarnia Police Force in 1974.  He rose through the ranks to become Chief of the Sarnia Police Service in 2009.  Phil is a servant/leader who cares greatly about the men and women of the Sarnia Police Service, Officers and Civilians, and has led them with compassion and mutual respect.


He also cared about delivering the best Police Service possible with respect for the taxpayers ability to pay.  The positive budgetary performance of the Sarnia Police Service has been noted across the Province with the Sarnia Police Service returning $1.7 million to the City over the last 10 years from the Police Service Budget under Phil’s leadership ($240,000 in 2016).  Every year a balanced budget.


Phil has developed and maintained good labour relations with the Sarnia Police Association; led the Service through the divisive OPP costing; developed strong and respectful ties with the First Nations; and has been an accessible and open Police Chief to the public and media.  He is a man of character and integrity who I have greatly respected and admired, having had the privilege of working with him directly over the last decade.  All that time the only failing that was noted was a love for the Toronto Maple Leafs and his ongoing optimism about “next year.”  Phil’s dream is to see them win the Stanley Cup in colour.


The Sarnia Police Board and myself would like to wish Phil and Beth many happy and healthy years in retirement.


Mayor Mike Bradley


Sarnia Police Service Board