Reading the Toronto Star column about Chief Mark Saunders’s first year as Toronto Police Chief you would think the author, Royson James should be Chief. He certainly has made it clear Saunders has failed at every part as Chief. Remember James did not want Saunders to be chief. When the process was active to pick a new Toronto Chief James made it clear he wanted D/Chief Sloly, who as far as James was concerned was the only person qualified to be Chief.   The style James wrote his columns you would think that Saunders was not black enough to be Toronto’s first black Police Chief.

Sloly was not going to be Chief in Toronto, everyone knew it including Sloly for a number of reasons. Saunders was the best candidate at the time because he was the best cop, period. He had the most experience as a cop and the decision makers still wanted the best cop for the job. It is believed my many now, Saunders will be the last true cop to be chief in Toronto. The next chief will be a yes man or woman for the special interest groups, media and politicians who want someone to sign a contract where the date of departure is left empty, in other words, the chief can be let go at anytime.

I know all of the recent past Chief’s in Toronto, I had a job where I had to deal with them on a regular basis. As I have said in the past, as President of the Toronto Police Association, my only concern was the members of the TPA period. The Chief has to be concerned with the employees of the TPS but also the 3 million people in Toronto, tough job, impossible job, a job where most people are going to be upset with your decisions. It is easy to sit back and complain about a police chief as it is for columnists who sit at desk and types on his computer, who could not possibly know what it would be like to walk in the shoes of a Mark Saunders, or would have the guts to put on a uniform and walk the streets as a cop. In Law Enforcement we treat these reporters or columnist as zeroes, they have no weight in what they write, they give the debate on policing nothing.

When someone like a Royson James writes something negative about you like his column about Saunders first year as chief you know the truth is Saunders is doing a great job as Chief. He is a Chief who sits backs and observes, a very patient man, a Chief who knows everything going on around him and on the streets in Toronto. A Chief who worries as much about his troops as he does the citizens of Toronto. A Chief who does not worry about the negativity coming from the media or bow to special interest groups. Outside of the gang bangers shooting each other up in certain parts of the city, which no one seems to care about anyways, I guess as long as they are killing each other, the city is safe and in a good position moving forward with Mark Saunders as Chief.

Craig Bromell