Veteran Toronto Police Supt. Ron Taverner appointed OPP commissioner

The provincial government announced the appointment of Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner as the new commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police on Thursday.

Taverner will succeed Vince Hawkes, who was appointed commissioner in 2014 and retired at the beginning of November.

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

Taverner, who first started with the Toronto Police Service in 1967, most recently served as a divisional superintendent in the city’s northwest. He has served in many divisions over his 50-plus-year career including intelligence and organized crime.

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Taverner’s also been recognized multiple times for his work. He was awarded the Order of Merit of the Police Forces to recognize merit and exceptional service by Canadian police members whose contributions extend beyond protection of the community.

With the announcement came praise for Taverner from members of the community and Toronto police force.

“After serving Toronto Police for more than 50 years, there are few people who will leave behind a legacy so rich in community service as Ron Taverner,” Toronto Chief of Police Mark Saunders said in a release.

“He will be missed by members of the Service and citizens of Toronto. I wish him every success as he begins a new chapter with the Ontario Provincial Police.”

Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack said Taverner would be a huge asset to 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,” he said.

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Althea Martin Risden, director of health promotion at Rexdale Community Health Centre, called Taverner a great “partner and leader” in the community.

“He is a community-minded individual and very supportive of the work of the Rexdale Community Health Centre and many other community organizations in the Rexdale area,” she said.

“He has stayed engaged with the community and is never too busy to address an issue or concern when approached.”

Brad Blair currently serves as the interim commissioner.

Taverner will assume the new role Dec. 17. He will serve for a term of up to three years.

With files from Travis Dhanraj 

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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