Antje McNeely named Kingston’s next Chief of Police

Queen's alum will be sworn in on Nov. 30 as first female Chief in station's history

McNeely is the first female Chief in the station's 167-year history.
McNeely is the first female Chief in the station's 167-year history.
Credit: 
Kingston Police

Queen’s alum Antje McNeely will be sworn in as Kingston’s 17th Chief of Police on Nov. 30. She is the first woman to ever be named to the position. 

McNeely graduated from Queen’s with a Bachelor's in Biology in 1983 before joining the Kingston Police force in ‘85. She also has a Master’s in Public Administration from the Queen’s Police Studies program.

Known for her enthusiasm towards community partnership, McNeely said in an interview she hopes to continue the “very good relationship” between Barb Lotan, Queen’s sexual violence prevention and response coordinator, and the Kingston Police’s sexual assault unit.

McNeely’s early career included advocating for survivors of sexual assault. She worked to improve police response to those who’ve experienced sexual assault, as well as to make reporting sexual violence with police less intimidating.

According to McNeely, Lotan and members from Queen’s Campus Security recently attended an event focused on training responders on how to deal with sexual crimes and trauma sensitivity.

“It’s really about developing the partnerships not just with the police, but our community that helps survivors,” McNeely said. “There’s lots of ongoing discussions between Queen’s and our sexual assault unit about prevention and reporting.”

McNeely told The Journal the Kingston Police understands reporting sexual violence is an individual’s choice. She added the police will continue to be present at Queen’s events like the Sidewalk Sale to inform students about the process of reporting.

McNeely hopes her presence on campus will help to “build confidence in victims to come forward in whatever aspect they choose.”

Queen’s will also partner with McNeely to implement an internal focus on mental health in the Force’s 2019-22 business model projection.

According to McNeely, Dr. Jana Raver—a professor of organizational behavior at Queen’s—will assist the Force using an “evidence-based approach to improve the organizational resilience” among members of Kingston Police. 

McNeely also referenced recent initiatives undertaken by the Kingston Police to provide a less intimidating environment for those who’ve experienced sexual violence. The initiatives include renovations to interrogation rooms and providing canine facility dogs for support.

The incoming Chief also said she plans to continue promoting the Force’s app—Path of Strength—which aims to help those who’ve experienced sexual violence understand their rights and resources.

“I think sexual assault and violence is very much underreported,” she said. “If the decision is made that the survivor wants to report to the police, then there’s that relationship with our sexual assault unit.”

McNeely told The Journal the Kingston Police are always “more than happy” to come and speak at Queen’s events.

 “We value all the students within the Kingston community, and we are here for any collaborative initiative, including crime prevention initiatives. Anything that will make things better between students and the City of Kingston, and safer,” she said.

“That’s what we’re here for. We look forward to every year when the students come.”

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