The Ontario Prime Minister's Office, Doug Ford, hired a Toronto police veteran from the Ford Etobicoke family’s force base in the western part of the city to lead the country’s second largest police team.
The government on Thursday announced that Toronto Police Chief Ron Taverner will be the new Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner, putting him at the head of the sprawling force, whose main job has been vacant since the beginning of this month.
Secondly, in Canada, only for RCMP in the amount of OPP has more than 8,000 employees, distributed in more than 150 units. Its staff patrols small communities and major highways, and also manages specialized units involved in the fight against organized crime and protection from violence.
The former head of power, Vince Hawks, resigned after a four-year term at the beginning of this month. Supt. Taverner, who will be in several rows, joined the Toronto Police Service as a high school graduate in 1967. Taverner did not respond to requests for comment.
In the early 2000s, he was appointed commander of a division of the 23rd Division of Toronto. He still retains this role, although he now also directs most of the polling stations that include the former city of Etobicoke.
This is the same united municipality where Rob and Doug Ford became known as city councilors, gaining popularity with promises that only the rule of law could clear the city.
The arrival of the brothers to power in the 2000s and 2010 gave them a common cause with Supt. Taverner, who through this time was locked in a chronic battle with weapons and gangs in the 23rd division.
Alok Mukherjee, the former long-term chairman of the Toronto Police Council, said that, despite Taverner’s previous connections with Fords, he would have to maintain his independence in his new role. "Ron [Taverner] was very close to the Ford family, "he said in an interview." He and the prime minister had a close relationship. "
Mr. Mukherjee noted that past political opponents of the UPP led to criminal charges against figures associated with the former liberal government, including the chief of staff of the prime minister, who was sentenced to four months in prison earlier this year.
He said that maintaining a suitable distance would now be a crucial task. “Let me say this: the role of the OPP Commissioner is very important for maintaining an independent police force. … Question Taverner must be very careful because he is not subjected to any [political] direction ".
Also on Thursday, the former OPP commissioner questioned whether Toronto’s life officer had enough experience to be the commander of such a sprawling provincial force.
Chris Lewis, a career PFP officer in charge of provincial forces from 2010 to 2014, told CP24 that the forces had troops that exceeded the Supt divisions. Taverner commands.
While he said Supt. Taverner was "experienced", he believed that the appointment was "a real blow for the UPP and senior officers who know this province, know this organization."
Mr. Ford promised to make a key issue with policing. In the summer, one of his first speeches as prime minister was to call on trade union leaders to tell them that he would delay implementation of the police accountability law passed by the previous government. In August, the government announced new funding of $ 25 million to step up police efforts to fight cannons and gangs.
In a statement made at the end of Thursday, the government said that Supt. Taverner was chosen “by the unanimous recommendation of the selection committee” with the participation of civil servants and an executive search firm.
“He’s a relationship builder,” a statement from Community Security Minister Silvia Jones said. "And I’m sure he will have a positive impact on Ontario policing."
Supt. Taverner accepts the post on December 17th.
His appointment is the second high-level assignment from the Toronto Police Service, since Tori took office.
In October, Mario di Tommaso, a former chief of staff in the west of Toronto, was elected deputy minister presiding over the police wing of the Ministry of Security and Correctional Services of the Community, which includes assistance in managing the OPP. At that time, Supt. Taverner applauded the move to hire Mr. Di Tommaso.
Mr. Mukherjee, the former chairman of the police council in Toronto, reports Supt. Taverner in order to be a police commander with great energy. But he also said that there would be a leap for him to go from the city district to control such a large police force. “Most superintendents go every five years or so. But Ron always stayed where he was, said Mr. Mukherjee.
Earlier this week, Supt. Taverner was publicly celebrated during the half-century work of the “community builder” charity organization in Toronto.
“Currently in his 51st year with the Toronto Police Service, Supt. Ron Taverner has earned the respect and trust of the public and other officials in his five decades of ministry, ”says a statement from House Jake, a group that helps children with autism.