• Rob Hornberger

Deemed low risk to reoffend, former Kingsville fire chief on day parole

Bob Kissner, convicted of sex offences in 2019, is currently serving his sentence in a halfway house
Former Kingsville fire chief Bob Kissner has been active with a local church near his halfway house and is a volunteer in the community, according to a Parole Board of Canada decision to extend his term of day parole.

KINGSVILLE — Bob Kissner, the disgraced former Kingsville fire chief, has been placed on day parole and is residing in a halfway house outside of Windsor and Essex County.

Kissner, who was found guilty of multiple counts of sexual abuse in 2019, had a six-month parole extended in July 2021, according to a Parole Board of Canada decision obtained by the Kingsville Observer.

“The Board granted day parole after determining that based on your positive institutional conduct, successful program completion and assessed below average risk for sexual recidivism, your risk would be manageable in the community for a six-month period,” the board decision said.

Kissner is currently living in a halfway house in a town or city near where he was imprisoned. The parole board did not name the correctional institution or community, but the location is outside Windsor and Essex County.

The parole board portrayed Kissner as a model prisoner with a low chance of being a repeat offender.

”You are assessed as engaged in your correctional plan and are considered program complete. You are retired but remain active in the community with volunteer work and are engaged in church activities. You are drug / alcohol free and there are no concerns relating to substance use. You have participated in weekend passes without concern or incident. You are open and transparent with your (correction management team) and attend all supervision meetings as required. You continue to be assessed with below average risk for sexual recidivism.”

The parole board decision says Kissner acknowledges his wrongdoing — a key component in the granting of parole.

“(The victim impact statements) speak to lives that have been forever changed. Trauma and harm has been long lasting and seemingly irreparable.”

“(The) board concluded that you had developed insight into your offending and demonstrated change as well as self-awareness over the course of your incarceration.”

Kissner was sentenced to five years in prison in 2019.

The report also says Kissner is active with a local church near his halfway house and has used his firefighter background to work with halfway house management to upgrade their fire safety plan.

The conditions of Kissner’s parole state he must not occupy a position which puts him in contact with potential victims, he cannot have contact with past victims or their families and cannot visit Windsor or Essex County without written permission from his parole officer.

He must also report to police each month.

The parole board says the renewal of Kissner’s day parole will help his rehabilitation and work toward full parole.

Kissner was eligible for full parole in April 2021.

The ruling also refers to the victim impact statements made at Kissner’s sentencing in 2019.

“(The victim impact statements) speak to lives that have been forever changed. Trauma and harm has been long lasting and seemingly irreparable.”

There is no indication in the parole board ruling that any of the victims objected to Kissner’s day parole.

He was found guilty in April 2019 on nine charges involving four victims — a firefighter and three students who worked at the firehall.

Because of the conviction, Kissner has been placed on a sex offender registry.

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