Ron Taverner appointed new OPP commissioner

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Ron Taverner appointed new OPP commissioner

Postby Thomas » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:54 am

Toronto Police superintendent Ron Taverner appointed new OPP commissioner

Taverner will assume post on Dec.17, and will serve for a term of up to 3 years

Ronald (Ron) Taverner has been appointed commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Sylvia Jones announced Thursday.

Taverner, currently a superintendent with Toronto Police, will assume his post on Dec. 17 and will serve for a term of up to three years, Jones said.

He will replace Vince Hawkes, who retired this month after serving more than four years.

"I'm very pleased to appoint Ron Taverner as OPP Commissioner," Jones said. "He is a relationship builder, and I'm certain he will have a positive impact on policing across Ontario."

Jones said Taverner, who is currently Unit Commander of 12, 23, and 31 Divisions with the Toronto Police Service, was appointed by Cabinet, based on the unanimous recommendation of a selection committee comprised exclusively of members of the Ontario Public Service and supported by Odgers Berndtson, an executive search firm.

"With over 50 years' experience, Ron brings the support of front-line officers, community leaders and our respected law enforcement professionals," Jones said.

"We will be well served by an officer who has dedicated his life to making our communities a safer place to live."

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders, responding to the appointment, said Taverner is a huge asset for the people of Ontario.

"I can't think of a more qualified and dedicated leader for the job. He's been a strong advocate for the community and our city. The OPP's gain is Toronto's loss," Saunders said.

Meanwhile, Rob Jamieson, president of the Ontario Provincial Police Association said his union looks forward to working collaboratively with Taverner, "someone who has such a proven track record in law enforcement."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ ... -1.4926637
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New commissioner of OPP appointed

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:15 am

TORONTO -- A veteran Toronto police officer has been named the next commissioner of Ontario Provincial Police.

Supt. Ronald Taverner will take over the post on Dec. 17, according to a news release from the provincial government.

He takes over the job from Brad Blair, who held the commissioner's post on an interim basis after the retirement of Vince Hawkes earlier this month.

The province says Taverner began his policing career in 1967 and has worked in intelligence, organized crime and community policing over a career spanning more than 50 years.

He's currently the unit commander of three divisions within the Toronto Police Service.

Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones says Taverner was appointed the next OPP commissioner by the provincial cabinet, based on the unanimous recommendation of a selection committee.

Taverner "brings the support of front-line officers, community leaders and our respected law enforcement professionals" to the top job, Jones said in a statement.

"He is a relationship builder, and I'm certain he will have a positive impact on policing across Ontario."

https://barrie.ctvnews.ca/new-commissio ... -1.4199535
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Toronto police unit commander Ron Taverner to head OPP

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:18 am

The head of Toronto’s homicide squad said it should come as no surprise that his longtime colleague Supt. Ron Taverner has been appointed commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Acting Insp. Hank Idsinga echoed sentiments shared by the police community and leaders of various community agencies, lauding Taverner as an advocate for building relationships with marginalized communities.

“It’s a big loss for us, but he’s put in a lot of years,” Idsinga said of Taverner’s departure after five decades serving in various divisions and units, including intelligence, organized crime enforcement, outlaw motorcycle gangs and community policing. “He has definitely made things better for us. He’s going to be an asset for the OPP.”

Taverner’s appointment was announced Thursday by Sylvia Jones, Ontario’s Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. He will assume his role as Ontario’s top cop, Dec. 17. He replaces Vince Hawkes, who recently retired after over four years at the helm.

“With over 50 years’ experience, Ron brings (with him) the support of front-line officers, community leaders and our respected law enforcement professionals,” Jones said. “We will be well served by an officer who has dedicated his life to making our communities a safer place to live.”

Idsinga said Taverner’s leadership skills prepare him for the task of managing the big challenge of leading the OPP, which consists of more than 6,000 uniformed officers and nearly 3,000 civilian members.

“I don’t think his appointment comes as a surprise at all,” Idsinga said. “Toronto produces some of the best police leaders.”

The careers of both lawmen have intertwined over the years, with Taverner serving as a mentor and senior officer throughout various junctures in Idsinga’s own move up the ranks.

“He was the unit commander of 51 Division, when I first got promoted to sergeant, and he brought me to 51 Division,” Idsinga said.

Idsinga recalls Taverner answering the call for support on many occasions during murder investigations in 23 Division, where Taverner served as unit commander.

“Almost every time we go there, no matter when, the first person you end up seeing is Ron,” Idsinga said. “He’ll bend over backwards to get the job done and get you whatever you need. He literally will run around moving furniture for us.”

Taverner, unit commander at 23, 12 and 31 Divisions, is a longtime friend of the Ford family. His north Etobicoke police division borders the Fords’ home.

Taverner, who received the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, in 2009, was appointed by cabinet, based on the unanimous recommendation of a selection committee comprised exclusively of members of the Ontario Public Service and supported by Odgers Berndtson, an executive search firm.

The government announcement mentions Taverner’s involvement with numerous community agencies, such as Albion Neighbourhood Services and Truth 15 Community Support.

He was praised by Althea Martin Risden, director, health promotion, Rexdale Community Health Centre (RCHC), one of the community agencies Taverner supported during his tenure.

“Superintendent Ron Taverner has been a great partner and leader in the Rexdale Community,” Martin Risden said. “He has given of his time to many initiatives one such being the Healthy Kids Community Challenge Rexdale, a program of RCHC, as a community champion, and specifically supported the development of Hockey in Rexdale, which was an initiative to teach kids to skate.”

Not everyone welcomed news of his appointment. The reaction from Desmond Cole and Andray Domise, both of whom are Black Toronto-based writers, was less warm.

Cole criticized the police division’s treatment of Black people in the community. He said the close relationship between Premier Doug Ford’s family and Taverner “needs to be scrutinized.”

Domise, who lived in 23 Division and ran an unsuccessful 2014 council bid in that ward, said being harassed by police was “the daily reality of living in Rexdale,” where “get-tough policing” is commonplace. Domise has attended numerous community meetings attended by Taverner.

“Very involved and co-operation with (the community) are two different things,” Domise said of Taverner’s work.

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/1 ... d-opp.html
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Ontario names Ron Taverner as chief of OPP

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:19 am

Ontario names Toronto police veteran Ron Taverner as chief of OPP

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet has tapped a veteran Toronto police commander from the Ford family’s power base of Etobicoke in the city’s west end to head the country’s second-largest police force.

The government on Thursday announced that Toronto Police Service Superintendent Ron Taverner will be the new Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner, putting him at the head of a sprawling force whose top job has been vacant since early this month.

Second in Canada only to the RCMP in size, the OPP has more than 8,000 employees spread across more than 150 detachments. Its officers patrol small communities and large highways, and also run specialized units devoted to tackling organized crime and anti-racket enforcement.

The force’s former chief, Vince Hawkes, retired after a four-year term early this month. Supt. Taverner, who will rise several ranks, 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 the unit commander of Toronto’s 23 Division. He still retains this role, although he now also commands most precincts incorporating the former city of Etobicoke.

This is the same amalgamated municipality where Rob and Doug Ford came to prominence as city councillors, gaining popularity with promises that only law-and-order solutions could clean up the city.

The brothers' rise to power in the 2000s and 2010s gave them a common cause with Supt. Taverner, who through this time was locked in a chronic battle with guns and gangs at 23 Division.

Alok Mukherjee, the former long-serving chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, says that despite Supt. Taverner’s past ties to the Fords, he will have to maintain independence in his new role. “Ron [Taverner] has been very close to the Ford family," he said in an interview. “He and the Premier have had a close relationship.”

Mr. Mukherjee pointed out that past OPP political probes have led to criminal charges against figures associated with the former Liberal government – including a premier’s chief of staff who was sentenced to four months in jail earlier this year.

He said keeping an appropriate distance will now amount to a crucial challenge. “Let me put it this way: The OPP Commissioner role is very pivotal in maintaining an independent police force. … The issue Taverner will have to be very careful about is not being subject to any [political] direction.”

Also Thursday, a former OPP commissioner questioned whether a lifelong Toronto officer had sufficient experience to be the commander of such a sprawling provincial force.

Chris Lewis, a career OPP officer who headed the provincial force between 2010 to 2014, told CP24 that the force had detachments larger than the divisions Supt. Taverner commands.

While he said Supt. Taverner was “well experienced,” he thought the appointment was “a real kick to the OPP and the senior officers in there that know this province, know this organization.”

Mr. Ford has promised to make policing a key issue. In the summer, one of his first acts as Premier was to call police union leaders to tell them he would be delaying the implementation of a police-accountability act passed by the previous government. In August, the government announced $25-million in new funding to shore up police efforts to battle guns and gangs.

In a statement late Thursday, the government said Supt. Taverner was picked “based on a unanimous recommendation of a selection committee” involving civil servants and an executive search firm.

“He is a relationship builder,” Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones said in a statement. “And I’m certain he will have a positive impact on policing across Ontario.”

Supt. Taverner assumes the post on Dec. 17.

His appointment is the second high-level appointment from the Toronto Police Service since the Tories took office.

In October, Mario di Tommaso, a former staff superintendent in Toronto’s west, was selected to be a deputy minister presiding over the policing wing of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, a portfolio that includes helping run the OPP. At the time, Supt. Taverner applauded the move to hire Mr. di Tommaso.

Mr. Mukherjee, the former Toronto police-board chair, credits Supt. Taverner for being a police commander with a lot of energy. But he also said it will be a leap for him to go from a city district to running such a big police force. “Most superintendents move every five years or so. But Ron has always stayed in place,” Mr. Mukherjee said.

Earlier this week, Supt. Taverner was publicly celebrated for a half-century’s worth of “community builder” work by a Toronto charity.

“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 over his five decades of service,” read a statement from Jake’s House, a group that helps children with autism.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/ ... -chief-of/
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