Is an ‘outsider’ from the West Coast set to fill the seat of becoming the next Chief of the Toronto Police Services (TPS)?
The Toronto Star believes it is within the realm of possibility that Vancouver Police Department (VPD) Chief Constable Jim Chu could be up for the position of Toronto’s next police chief.
Chu’s announcement on Friday that he will retire from the VPD in April surprised many, and it coincides with the retirement of TPS Chief Bill Blair this spring.
Chu has been with the VPD for 36 years, including 7.5 years as the Chief. There is speculation that the 56-year-old could be a sought-after candidate given his reputation and experience with policing Vancouver during some of its most tumultuous years, including his role in combatting the 2008 and 2009 gang war and providing a safe and secure environment for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Under Chu’s tenure, Vancouver reached a record low homicide rate in 2013 and crime in nearly every category saw a decline.
In addition, with Toronto set to host the 2015 Pan American Games in July, Chu’s experience with the Olympics could be particularly beneficial for the host city.
Others have also speculated that Chu could be contemplating a run in federal politics ahead of this fall’s scheduled general election.
Either way, with Chu making his exit from the VPD in his mid-50s, it is likely a sign that he has other ambitions.
If Chu becomes the Chief of the TPS, he will be responsible for the nation’s largest police force. The TPS has an annual budget of nearly $1-billion, 5,200 sworn members and a support staff of 2,700 civilians to protect 2.8-million people living within an area of 641 square kilometres.
In comparison, the VPD operates with an annual budget of $220-million, 1,327 sworn members and a support staff of 389 civilians to protect 600,000 people living within 115 square kilometres.
Feature Image: Vancouver Police