23 March 2023
TORONTO: The Toronto Police Services Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Acting Deputy Chief Lauren Pogue, and Staff Superintendent Rob Johnson as the new Deputy Chiefs of the Toronto Police Service, effective March 27, 2023.
Acting Deputy Chief Pogue will be assigned to the Community Safety Command and Staff Superintendent Johnson will be assigned to the Specialized Operations Command.
Acting Deputy Chief Pogue is a 34-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service and presently leading the Community Safety Command. In her current role, she oversees 12 districts consisting of 16 Divisions, as well as Field Services which includes the Toronto Police Operations Centre, Communications Services, Traffic Services, Parking Enforcement, the Public Safety Response Team and the Community Partnerships & Engagement Unit. The Command provides proactive and reactive public safety services in partnership with key stakeholders and the many diverse communities in Toronto.
Staff Superintendent Johnson is a 33-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service and most recently held the position of Staff Superintendent in charge of the Service’s Strategy Management unit which leads major police reform initiatives, including the Board’s 81 police reform directions to address systemic racism, the Missing and Missed Report recommendations, and the implementation of the Auditor General’s recommendations. In this role, he also works with the City of Toronto Community Crisis Service to seek non-police led response to persons-in-crisis.
READ ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF POGUE AND STAFF SUPERINTENDENT JOHNSON’S BIOGRAPHIES - APPENDED BELOW
Interim Chair Ann Morgan stated that “the Board is extremely pleased with the two appointments announced today. Acting Deputy Chief Pogue is an astute and collaborative police leader, with an extraordinary specialized operations background. Staff Superintendent Johnson is an innovative and progressive police leader, who has championed and led the Service’s significant efforts in modernizing and transforming the delivery of policing services in this city. Both leaders have demonstrated through their work that they keenly appreciate that achieving community safety must be premised on a true and meaningful partnership with diverse communities. The Board looks forward to working with both Acting Deputy Chief Pogue and Staff Superintendent Johnson as part of the Service’s outstanding Command team.”
Chief Demkiw shared “I am extremely pleased that Toronto Police Service senior officers Lauren Pogue and Rob Johnson will serve as our new Deputy Chiefs. Both are exemplary officers with deep ties to the community and will represent our Command and the Toronto Police Service with honour and distinction.”
ABOUT THE SEARCH PROCESS
The Board retained Boyden, an executive search firm, to assist in the Deputy Chief selection process. The posting for the positions required that the applicants have “broad and significant operational policing experience, strong business acumen, and a demonstrated ability to drive innovation and change while delivering on community safety priorities in the context of policing reform.”
The search also underscored the importance of the successful candidates being inclusive and inspiring leaders, who are “forward thinking and outward-looking, able to anticipate the changing needs of Toronto’s communities while seeking continuous improvement in order to achieve better outcomes for the Service and the communities it serves.”
Importantly, the posting emphasized that the successful candidates must be community-focused, with the ability to work collaboratively with members of a service, Board, various communities and can build relationships based on transparency and trust with the many communities that make up the multi-cultural mosaic of the City of Toronto.
The search process involved two stages of interviews, and psychometric and intercultural development inventory assessments, to provide insight into the leadership capabilities and cultural competency of the finalists.
As part of the search, the Board established a Search Advisory Committee, which included well-respected community 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 comprised:
Board Members: Interim Chair Ann Morgan and Lisa Kostakis;
Board Staff: Executive Director and Chief of Staff, Ryan Teschner; and,
- External Members:
Audrey Campbell, long-time community advocate and co-chair of the Toronto Police Service’s Policing and Community Engagement Review (PACER)
Vince Hawkes, C.O.M., former Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner and Director of Global Policing for the International Association of Chiefs of Police
Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada who has dedicated her life’s work to improving the lives of 2SLGBTQI+ people in Canada and around the world
HIGHLIGHTS FROM ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF POGUE’S CAREER:
- Acting Deputy Chief Pogue is a member of The Toronto Police Services Board’s Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Panel and serves as an Assistant Director on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP.)
- Acting Deputy Chief Pogue has also served in several Service-wide initiatives as a member of the City of Toronto Community Crisis Support Services implementation team, championing and delivering the Service’s Fair and Impartial Policing© program and is a co-lead for Partners in Reform Truth and Reconciliation in the Toronto Police Service.
- Acting Deputy Chief Pogue was honoured with the “2019 Ontario Women in Law Enforcement (OWLE) – Police Officer of the Year Award” for her contribution to public safety after 25 years of work in covert operations, training, lecturing, mentoring and supporting the psychological well-being of officers.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM STAFF SUPERINTENDENT JOHNSON’S CAREER:
- In his role as Staff Superintendent of Strategy Management, he oversaw the Implementation of the Board’s 81 Police Reform Directions, and in particular the work done in collaboration with the City of Toronto Community Crisis Service, where a non-police led response to persons in crisis has proven to be successful
- Staff Superintendent Johnson is proud of his continued partnerships with members of the community, particularly those with Indigenous Peoples of Toronto, through his work as Co-Chair of the Chief’s Aboriginal Consultative Communities
- Staff Superintendent Johnson values his collaborative work with the Board, the Command and the Membership to improve community–police relationships, and is grateful for his vast and varied career within many diverse areas of the Service and being mentored by some truly exceptional police leaders both past and present.
The Toronto Police Services Board is the civilian body responsible for governing the Toronto Police Service. The Board is responsible for ensuring the provision of adequate and effective police services in the City of Toronto, setting priorities and objectives for the Toronto Police Service, approving the annual police budget and selecting the Chief of Police.
Contact: Danielle Dowdy
ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF LAUREN POGUE
Lauren Pogue is a 34-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service. With her appointment to Deputy Chief by the Toronto Police Services Board, Chief Myron Demkiw will appoint her Deputy Chief of Police, Community Safety Command, a role she has been acting in for the last nine months.
As Deputy Chief, she will continue to oversee 12 districts consisting of 16 Divisions, as well as Field Services, which includes the Toronto Police Operations Centre, Communications Services, Traffic Services, Parking Enforcement, the Public Safety Response Team and the Community Partnerships & Engagement Unit. This Command provides proactive and reactive public safety services in partnership with key stakeholders and the many diverse communities in Toronto.
In her previous role as Staff Superintendent, she was responsible for Detective Operations, which encompasses Intelligence Services, Organized Crime Enforcement and Specialized Criminal Investigations. These units include the Service’s high-profile investigative units, including the Homicide and Missing Persons Unit, the Integrated Guns and Gangs Task Force, the Hold-Up Squad and Forensic Identification Services.
Earlier in her career, Acting Deputy Chief Pogue also served as the Unit Commander of Central District in Midtown Toronto, Unit Commander of the Hold-Up Squad and second-in-command of Intelligence Services. In addition, she has fulfilled a number of supervisory roles and worked as an investigator in various units throughout the organization including Intelligence Services, the Drug Squad, the Fugitive Squad and the Firearms Enforcement Unit.
Acting Deputy Chief Pogue led security teams during the Pan Am Games and was the Ceremonies Chair for the Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games. She served as an Incident Commander during many large demonstrations and other events, including the Raptor’s NBA playoff games and the Championship Parade. She is the Service’s executive sponsor of the Aboriginal Internal Support Network and also the Co-Chair of the Chief’s Aboriginal Consultative Committee, working closely with Indigenous Peoples to continue building meaningful partnerships.
Acting Deputy Chief Pogue earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from York University and is a graduate of the Canadian Forces College Canadian Security Studies Programme.
STAFF SUPERINTENDENT ROBERT JOHNSON
Staff Superintendent Johnson is a 33-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service and most recently held the position of Staff Superintendent in charge of the Service’s Strategy Management Unit. With his appointment to Deputy Chief by the Toronto Police Services Board, Chief Myron Demkiw will appoint him Deputy Chief of the Specialized Operations Command.
Staff Superintendent Johnson is a proponent of police reform and modernization and was the Service’s lead on major police reform initiatives, which have included the Board’s 81 police reform directions to address systemic racism and strengthening trust with Toronto’s communities. In this role, he also works with the City of Toronto Community Crisis Service to seek non-police led response to persons-in-crisis.
As Staff Superintendent, he has also been responsible for Professional Standards and prior to that, Area Field Command which consisted of eight police Divisions.
Recently, Staff Superintendent Johnson served as one of the Service’s steering committee leads for the last two budget processes. He has coordinated and evaluated new initiatives including the transition to the new Toronto courthouse, shift scheduling and video bail, and oversaw the Service’s support for an independent review of the Service’s response times conducted by the City of Toronto Auditor General.
Earlier in his career, he served as a member of the Police and Community Engagement Review (PACER) Committee from 2013–2017 where he provided insight into police conduct, helping to shape some of the subsequent recommendations.
As a Superintendent, Staff Superintendent Johnson served as the Unit Commander of Professional Standards Investigative Unit, Central North District which consisted of 32 & 33 Division and later, 14 Division. As an Inspector he served as a service prosecutor appearing before police tribunals, was the Second in Command of the Professional Standards Investigative Unit where he oversaw criminal investigations and later complaint-intake managing all internal conduct issues. As a senior officer he also served as the Chief’s SIU Designate, OIPRD Liaison, an Incident Commander overseeing several large-scale, city-wide events, both planned and unplanned, and as a Duty Senior Officer.
He is a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and sits on two committees; he is the Co-Chair of the Use of Force Committee and a member of the Policing with Indigenous Peoples Committee. Staff Superintendent Johnson is also an active member of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) participating in Zone 3 initiatives. In the past, he has served as President of the Toronto Police Senior Officers Organization (SOO) where he has held every Executive position on the board and has also helped advance the interests of senior police leaders in the province of Ontario through his advocacy as an Executive member of the Ontario Senior Officers Police Association (OSOPA). He is currently the Co-Chair of the Chief’s Aboriginal Consultative Committee and a member of the LGBTQ2S+ Internal Support Network (ISN) as a Senior Advisor.
Staff Superintendent Johnson holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph and is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management’s Police Leadership Program. He has diplomas focusing on police leadership from both Humber and Sheridan Colleges.
As a child, Staff Superintendent Johnson called many countries home, including living and attending schools in St. Lucia, Malaysia, Borneo (Brunei), as well as in Northern Saskatchewan where his connection to Indigenous communities began. Having been exposed to many different cultures and religions throughout the world, Staff Superintendent Johnson has a deep understanding and appreciation for diverse communities.
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