Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders says he's stepping down
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders announced today that he'll be stepping down from his position on July 31.
Today, I announced that my last day as Chief of the Toronto Police Service will be July 31, 2020. I’m honoured to have served & I have every confidence in the members of the @TorontoPolice to continue to serve and protect the best city in the world. https://t.co/YjOIiHfEep— Mark Saunders (@marksaunderstps) June 8, 2020
Saunders said in a press conference today that he will be resigning as Police Chief at the end of next month, a role he's held since 2015.
Toronto police chief to retire July 31. Mark Saunders has served 35 years in the force, and became chief 5 years ago. Saunders is the first Black Canadian to lead the Toronto Police Services. pic.twitter.com/w9OXM6yBbw— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) June 8, 2020
Saunders said and Mayor John Tory later confirmed that he had informed the board and Tory of his intention to retire this summer. He said today the decision was not due to health concerns and that he's looking forward to being a full-time dad and husband.
"Family is the most important thing to me right now," he said.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders: “We haven’t been perfect but we’ve always tried to move towards excellence. My advice is to never stop, always listen and serve with compassion.” pic.twitter.com/fGVoiEXAbj— Mark McAllister (@McAllister_Mark) June 8, 2020
Mayor John Tory issued a statement thanking Saunders for serving almost four decades with the Toronto Police.
My statement on Chief @MarkSaundersTPS' retirement. pic.twitter.com/R8FkrRU8Qh— John Tory (@JohnTory) June 8, 2020
"On behalf of all Toronto residents, I want to thank Chief Saunders for his exemplary service," he said. 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."
"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."
Saunders recently said he supported the peaceful anti-Black racism protests happening this past weekend and was spotted taking a knee during a march on Friday.
The news comes on the heel of calls to defund the police budget with City Counsellor Josh Matlow supporting the move.
Saunders' contract was set to expire in 2021.
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