New police chief : prayer will play a role in reducing violent crime
"Something phenomenal is going to happen in our city," says Devon Clunis.
By Aaron Epp | Thursday, October 11, 2012
At the beginning of October, Devon Clunis was appointed Winnipeg's 17th chief of police. Clunis says his Christian faith is foundational to everything he does. Photo by Aaron Epp
WINNIPEG, MBWinnipeg is the violent crime capital of Canada, and the city's new chief of police believes prayer will play a big role in changing that.
"I'm a little tired of us…being '[the] murder capital of Canada,'" says Devon Clunis, who was appointed chief of police at the beginning of October. "People consistently say, 'How are you going to solve that?' It's not simply going to be because we're going to go out there and police it away. I truly believe that prayer will be a significant piece of that."
"What would happen if we all just trulyI'm talking about all religious stripes herestarted praying for the peace of this city and then actually started putting some action behind that?" he adds. "I believe something phenomenal is going to happen in our city. I truly believe it's coming. I don't think I've arrived at this position just by chance."
Clunis, 48, began his career with the Winnipeg Police Service in 1987. Over the past 25 years, he has served in all major areas of the organization and was one of the WPS's first chaplains.
Clunis came to Winnipeg from Jamaica with his family when he was 12 and says that going to church is something that he and his family always did.
"Church and faith have always been a part of my life for as long as I can remember," says Clunis, who today attends Kilcona Park Alliance Church with his wife, Pearlene.
He says his Christian faith is foundational to everything he does. He distinctly remembers in 1998 when he prayed, "God, I wish one day you'd put me in a place in the police service where I have the opportunity to stand up and tell people there is a God who truly cares about them."
Three weeks later, a colleague told him the WPS was starting a chaplaincy program and asked if Clunis would consider joining.
Fourteen years later, Clunis plans to continue being a chaplain even as he takes on his new role.
"Being a chaplain is one of the greatest ways I can serve our members who are now going out and serving the public," he says. "[We] take good care of the caregivers so they can be there for the members of our community."
Clunis attributes his success to God. He says he has never asked God to make him a powerful person, but rather, he has prayed that God make him a leader who treats people with dignity and respect and who is successful in his endeavours.
Clunis says that at the end of the day, he just wants to give of himself to help the community.
"God still cares, He's still involved in our lives," Clunis says, "and I believe without a shadow of a doubt the only reason that I am in this position is because God is involved in it. Without a shadow of a doubt."