Ontario Premier Cabinet Doug Ford has knocked veteran Toronto police commander from the family base of the Ford Etobicoke at the west end of the city to head the country's second largest police force.
The government announced on Thursday that Toronto Police Service Inspector Ron Taverner would be the new Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner, placing him at the head of a broad force whose main work had been vacant since the beginning of this month.
Secondly in Canada only for the size of the RCMP, OPP has more than 8,000 employees spread over more than 150 detachments. Officers patrolled small communities and major highways, and also ran special units aimed at dealing with organized crime and anti-racquet enforcement.
The former chief of forces, Vince Hawkes, retired after a four-year term earlier this month. Supt. Taverner, who will rise in rank, joined the Toronto Police Service as a high school graduate in 1967. Supt. Taverner did not respond to requests for comment.
In the early 2000s, he was installed as commander of the Toronto Division 23 unit. He still maintains this role, although he now also orders most of the regions that combine the former Etobicoke city.
This is the same combined city where Rob and Doug Ford became famous as city council members, gaining popularity with the promise that only legal-and-order solutions could clean the city.
The rise of the brothers in the 2000s and 2010 gave them the same reasons as Supt. Taverner, who had been locked in a chronic battle with weapons and gangs in the 23rd Division.
Alok Mukherjee, a former long chair from the Toronto Police Service Agency, said that despite Supt. Taverner's last relationship with Ford, he must maintain independence in his new role. "Ron [Taverner] had been very close to the Ford family, "he said in an interview." He and Premier have a close relationship. "
Mr Mukherjee pointed out that past OPP political probes had caused criminal allegations against the numbers associated with former Liberal governments – including the prime minister's chief of staff who was sentenced to four months in prison earlier this year.
He said that maintaining the right distance would now be an important challenge. "Let me say this: The role of the OPP Commissioner is very important in maintaining the strength of the independent police. … The problem of Taverner must be very careful because he does not submit to anything [political] direction. "
Also on Thursday, a former OPP commander questioned whether a lifetime Toronto officer had enough experience to be a broad commander of provincial forces.
Chris Lewis, a career OPP officer who led provincial powers between 2010 and 2014, told CP24 that the force had a larger detachment from the Supt division. Taverner command.
While he said Supt. Taverner "has good experience," he thought the appointment was "a real kick to OPP and senior officers there who know this province, know this organization."
Mr Ford has promised to make the police the main problem. In the summer, one of his first actions as Prime Minister was to call police union leaders to inform them that he would postpone the implementation of police accountability measures authorized by the previous government. In August, the government announced $ 25 million in new funding to support police efforts to fight weapons and gangs.
In a statement late Thursday, the government said Supt. Taverner was chosen "based on a unanimous recommendation from the selection committee" involving civil servants and executive search companies.
"He is a relationship builder," Public Safety Minister Sylvia Jones said in a statement. "And I'm sure he will have a positive impact on the police in Ontario."
Supt. Taverner received a post on December 17.
His appointment was the second high-level appointment of the Toronto Police Service since Tory took office.
In October, Mario in Tommaso, a former supervisory staff in west Toronto, was elected as deputy minister who led the police from the Ministry of Safety and Correctional Services, a portfolio that included helping run the OPP. At that time, Supt. Taverner praised the move to hire Mr. at Tommaso.
Mr. Mukherjee, former Toronto police chief, praised Supt. Taverner for being a police commander with lots of energy. But he also said it would be a leap for him to leave the city district to run a large police force. "Most section heads move every five years or more. But Ron always stays in place, "said Mr Mukherjee.
Earlier this week, Supt. Taverner is openly celebrated for the work of a half-century "community builder" by a Toronto charity.
"Right now in the 51st year with the Toronto Police Service, Supt. Ron Taverner has gained respect and trust from the public and other officials for his five decades of service," read the statement from Jake's House, a group that helps children autistic child.