Board Announces Myron Demkiw, M.O.M., as the next Chief of the Toronto Police Service
Myron Demkiw is a national police leader, who has dedicated his career to enhancing public safety in partnership with Toronto’s diverse communities, including preventing and effectively combatting gun and gang violence, while supporting the police service’s ongoing reform and modernization agenda
The Toronto Police Services Board today announced the selection of Myron Demkiw, M.O.M. (Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces), as the new Chief of Police of the Toronto Police Service. Myron Demkiw is a 32-year veteran of the Service, and is currently the Acting Deputy Chief of the Specialized Operations Command. Chief Designate Demkiw will assume the role of Chief of Police on December 19, 2022, following a three-month transition period. During this transition, Chief Ramer, O.O.M. (Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces), will continue to lead the Toronto Police Service. Once Chief Designate Demkiw assumes the role of Chief of Police on December 19, 2022, he will hold a media availability, and outline the priorities for his term.
The Board recognizes that this is an extremely difficult and sensitive period for our Members and their families, as they grapple with the recent tragic loss of PC Andrew Hong, with the immense grief, sorrow and pain that it brings. This is an organization, and, indeed, a city in mourning, and we make this announcement in somber acknowledgement of this important fact.
However, given that this formal decision has now made by the Board, and its clear and direct impact on both the Members of this Service, and the members of Toronto’s communities, we make this announcement today, to share a matter of significant organizational and public interest.
In announcing the appointment, Board Chair Jim Hart said: “Myron Demkiw meets the call put out by Torontonians who seek a police leader that possesses extensive operational policing experience to keep our city, its residents, and its visitors safe, while applying a modern vision of community safety that is progressive and community-centred. In Chief Designate Demkiw, the Board has found the candidate that possessed what members of communities across the City, along with our stakeholders, asked us for: a dedicated public servant and relationship-builder, committed to building and enhancing trust with the diverse communities we serve. The Board is also confident in Chief Designate Demkiw’s proven track record of designing proactive, progressive and solution-focused approaches and initiatives that effectively deal with our city’s complex and ever-changing community safety and well-being needs.”
“The Board is impressed with Chief Designate Demkiw’s wealth of international policing expertise, including in the areas of gun and gang violence and counterterrorism, along with a commitment to continued reform and modernization of Canada’s largest municipal police service. The Board is confident that Chief Designate Demkiw can build on the extensive progress we have made together to improve policing and community safety in our city, and continue to ensure the Toronto Police Service and its Members remain international leaders in policing and community safety. The Board congratulates Chief Designate Demkiw, and very much looks forward to advancing community safety in Toronto under his leadership in the years to come.”
READ CHIEF DESIGNATE MYRON DEMKIW’S BIOGRAPHY - APPENDED BELOW
"I want to congratulate Chief Designate Demkiw on his selection as Toronto's next Chief of Police. He is a veteran police officer who is a respected policing expert when it comes to community safety and well-being, as well as gun and gang violence prevention and intervention. I know he will bring a focus on confronting gun and gang violence to his new role, along with a determined commitment to keeping our city as one of the safest major cities in the world," said Mayor and Board Member John Tory. "I also know that Chief Designate Demkiw will continue the work underway on police reform. This is so important – the work to build and rebuild trust cannot stop. We must continue to reform and modernize our police service, and we must ensure that every resident across our city feels respected and protected."
On his appointment, Chief Designate Demkiw stated as follows:
I am honoured to be the next Chief of the Toronto Police Service. I am deeply invested in the city of Toronto and its people, and I am committed to the integrity and success of the Toronto Police Service. I wish to extend my gratitude to Chief James Ramer, and to the dedicated Members of the Toronto Police Service who are committed to the safety and well-being of our great city.
At this time, our organization is grieving the loss of Constable Andrew Hong, and while I wish to thank the Toronto Police Services Board for their trust and confidence, and extend my gratitude to my colleagues, both sworn and civilian, I will reserve further comment at this time, out of respect for Constable Hong, his family and our Members.
I will spend the next 95 days in transition and supporting Chief Ramer before I assume command on December 19, 2022. I look forward to engaging with our Members, the public, and the media when I begin the role of Chief of Police later this year.
Ryan Teschner, the Board’s Executive Director and Chief of Staff, noted that this selection process was the most comprehensive to date: “One of the Board’s most significant responsibilities is to select and appoint the Chief of Police. Recognizing the significance of this decision, and the deep public engagement on policing issues we have seen recently, the Board undertook the most comprehensive selection process in its history, which included gathering input from both internal and external stakeholders, as well as members of the community. All of this informed the Board’s decision to appoint Myron Demkiw as the next Chief of Police for the Toronto Police Service.”
The Board used a two-part Chief selection process:
Based on the input and public feedback it received, the Board sought a progressive, strategic and inspirational law enforcement executive as the next Chief. In its search, the Board placed priority on the further development and implementation of the Service’s policing reform, modernization and community safety and well-being agendas, ensuring the Service remains responsive to the unique needs of communities in Canada’s largest and most diverse City.
The Board established a Search Advisory Committee, which, for the first time, and in response to feedback received during the public engagement, included individuals that are not Board or Board Staff members. The Search Advisory Committee was engaged at all stages of the search process, and provided advice to the Board on its ultimate selection for appointment. The Search Advisory Committee was comprised of:
External Search Advisory Committee member and renowned community advocate, Audrey Campbell, commented on both the search process, and the resulting decision: "I was happy to be brought into a process that included community voices. Kudos to the search firm Boyden Canada, and the Board Staff for creating such a stringent search and evaluation process. It surpassed my expectations. As a community voice on the Search Advisory Committee, it was important to me that the person we chose had a keen understanding and appreciation for Toronto, this culturally diverse city. In the Chief, we wanted an accountable leader who is willing to work across communities, with the goal of building meaningful partnerships with the public; all of which, as community members, we have voiced over the years."
The external member who brought a policing lens to the Search Advisory Committee, Vince Hawkes, C.O.M., former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, and current Director of Global Policing for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, also voiced his approval in the choice of Chief Designate Demkiw, noting that he is “a very well-respected Canadian policing leader who is recognized as a global expert in the policing profession, who has distinguished himself as an innovative community safety champion, developing effective approaches to community safety and well-being priorities, such as gun and gang violence, counterterrorism efforts and other critical matters.”
Further, he noted, “having worked with a cross-section of senior police leaders in Canada and around the world, I am confident that the Board has appointed an individual who will capably lead the Toronto Police Service in progressively meeting the complex public safety challenges of Canada’s largest and most diverse city.”
The Board and Search Advisory Committee also expressed its great confidence in the candidate pool, with Chair Jim Hart stating, “the Board was extremely impressed by the outstanding calibre of the candidates who applied, and the passion and dedication they demonstrated in their applications. On behalf of the Board, I would like to sincerely thank all of those individuals who took the time and effort to apply for this significant role, putting their names forward to take on a challenging, but incredibly important position.”
The appointment of Chief Designate Demkiw for a three-year term takes effect on December 19, 2022, following a Change-of-Command ceremony. Until that time, Chief Ramer remains the Chief of the Toronto Police Service. As the Board has repeatedly expressed, Chief Ramer has been an extraordinary and inspiring leader, during a time that has been has been marked by unique and significant challenges, opportunities, as well as progress. During his term, Chief Ramer has navigated the organization with tremendous grace, diplomacy and insight, and has also demonstrated a sincere and concrete commitment to issues of accountability, transparency and policing reform, meaningfully deepening the Service’s relationships with the many communities it serves. Details about the Change-of-Command ceremony will be provided at a future date.
For more information on the Chief of Police search and selection process, see our attached Backgrounder.
Contact: Sandy Murray
Chief Designate Demkiw, a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces (M.O.M.), is a 30-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service, and is currently the Acting Deputy Chief of Specialized Operations Command.
In this role, he oversees over 1,200 police officers, over 900 civilian Members, and manages a budget of $240M. The Command is comprised of the Service’s various investigative squads, a variety of specialized uniform units and Court Services.
Prior to this assignment, as a Staff Superintendent, he was responsible for two different pillars of the organization. Most recently, he was in charge of Corporate Risk Management, which includes Professional Standards, Professional Standards Support and the Toronto Police College; prior to this he oversaw Detective Services, which includes the Service’s high profile investigative units, such as the Homicide Squad, Integrated Guns and Gangs Task Force, and the Hold-Up Squad.
Throughout the course of his career, A/Deputy Chief Demkiw has served as the Unit Commander of Intelligence Services and the Officer in Charge of Strategy Management Corporate Projects, the Second in Command of 32 Division, Duty Senior Officer, and has fulfilled a number of supervisory roles in various units throughout the organization. He has also participated in several Service-wide initiatives.
An integral member of the Police and Community Engagement Review (PACER) Team since its inception in 2012, he provided senior leadership for the implementation of recommendations, championing the Service’s Fair and Impartial Policing© program, the Service’s Intercultural Development Program and active participation in the PACER Advisory Committee.
Chief Designate Demkiw has been a key architect in the Service’s renewed and comprehensive approach to preventing and dealing with gun and gang violence, an issue of key concern for Toronto residents. Under Chief Designate Demkiw’s and the Command’s leadership, a progressive, intelligence-led, and precise strategy has been developed, one that deftly and powerfully targets criminal elements, while respecting the communities in which they may be operating.
As a member of the Service’s Command team and with dedicated officers and civilians across the Service, Chief Designate Demkiw has been instrumental in helping to lead the Service’s significant efforts in police modernization and reform. This includes his role in championing the implementation of the Service’s 81 police reform recommendations, a bold and progressive agenda approved by the Board in August 2020, which put into place a roadmap for comprehensive policing reform, and include building new community safety response models, initiatives to address systemic racism and concrete steps to strengthening trust with our communities. He demonstrates a deep and sincere understanding that to truly serve and protect the public, policing must be done in meaningful collaboration with members of all of our communities.
In addition, Chief Designate Demkiw helped to launch the Service’s response to the Independent Civilian Review into Missing Persons Investigations, led by the Honourable Gloria Epstein, Q.C., over a three-year period, setting the course for the Service’s role, cooperation and commitment to this ground-breaking work.
The 151 recommendations contained in Missing and Missed: Report of the Independent Civilian Review into Missing Person Investigations are aimed at improving the police handling of missing person investigations.
This is a transformative and significant report, and Chief Designate Demkiw is well-suited to continue the valuable work being undertaken in response to the Review, and as Chief, to facilitate this monumental task, given his progressive, and community-focused approach to community safety.
In 2019, Chief Designate Demkiw joined the Black Internal Support Network (BISN) as a Senior Advisor. He assists the group’s Executive Committee by providing guidance and support on issues that are raised by the BISN relating to anti-Black racism, and the lived experiences of Black Service Members. He also supports many of the BISN’s initiatives.
Chief Designate Demkiw is also the Service’s champion on SafeTO, a bold and unique approach to advancing community safety by working collaboratively across sectors, communities and governments. He has made significant contributions in the development of a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan that is premised on the goals of social development, prevention, risk intervention and incident response, reimagining and unifying our collective approach to community safety.
In addition, Chief Designate Demkiw is a well-respected policing leader in Canada for his ongoing commitment to counter-terrorism and national security. He is engaged both nationally and internationally on these issues, which are of critical importance when overseeing a police service in a city of our size and international stature, with its significant reputation, and notable role in the country’s commerce and tourism industries.
He participated in the International Leadership in Counter Terrorism (LinCT) Program, and is the Co-Chair of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP)’s Counter-Terrorism and National Security Committee. In addition, he is a member of the CACP National Working Group Supporting Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence, and was a member of the Countering Violent Extremism Working Group. As Chair Hart noted, “the Board feels confident with Chief Designate Demkiw leading the organization that the Service can prevent and address these types of threats.”
A graduate of the University of Toronto, Chief Designate Demkiw attended the Faculty of Law and completed the Global Professional Master of Laws program, and also earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in both Criminology and Political Science. He is a graduate of the Rotman School of Management’s Police Leadership Program.
On a personal note, Chief Designate Demkiw is a proud member of Toronto’s Ukrainian community, and most recently, worked in partnership with Toronto Fire Services and Toronto Paramedic Services to coordinate the collection of donations for humanitarian aid in support of the Ukraine.
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