Toronto begins search for new police chief
Toronto's Police Chief is throwing in the towel.
After sources had confirmed the news to NEWSTALK 1010, Mark Saunders made it official. He says his final day as chief will be on July 31st.
He's held the post since 2015, when he was named to replace Bill Blair, who had retired.
You might remember, the 58-year-old had a kidney replaced in 2017, but he admitted in his press conference, that his health had nothing to do with it.
Saunders said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family and to continue serving the city from outside the Service.
He'd worked for Toronto Police for 37-years.
During his press conference, The Chief thanked his members and asked them to "keep building the strong relationships the Service has had with the comminity, not just with words, but with action."
His contract was originally set to expire last April, but he was re-signed for a second term, becoming only the second Chief in the history of Toronto Police to be given a second term.
His new contract was set to expire at in April of 2021.
Toronto Mayor John Tory responded with the following statement:
"Today, Chief Mark Saunders announced he plans to retire from the Toronto Police Service on July 31.
About a week ago, Chief Saunders came to me and let me know that he planned to retire this summer. This retirement comes after more than 37 years in the Toronto Police Service.
On behalf of all Toronto residents, I want to thank Chief Saunders for his exemplary service. He has led the women and men of the Toronto Police Service for the last five years – working to modernize the service and establishing community-focused policing. Prior to that he held just about every leadership position available in the Toronto Police Service.
He has been a dedicated and responsible Chief of Police who has always worked to protect the city. He cares deeply about the people of the city, all of its neighbourhoods, and about the men and women who serve with him.
I know Mark is looking forward to spending more time with his wife Stacey and their children. I wish him all the best in his retirement from the Toronto Police Service. We will continue to see the benefits of his pioneering work on modernization and culture change for years to come."
I want to give a big thank you to @marksaunderstps for his service. Mark has been a tremendous leader and a true champion for the Toronto community. Together we took on many challenges and I want to thank him for his partnership and friendship. I wish him the best.— Doug Ford (@fordnation) June 8, 2020