STATEMENT FROM THE TORONTO POLICE SERVICES BOARD ANNOUNCING THE EXTENSION OF THE APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JAMES RAMER AS CHIEF SELECTION PROCESS CONTINUES
The Toronto Police Services Board today announces the extension of the appointment of James Ramer as Chief of Police of the Toronto Police Service until December 31, 2022. This extension will provide much needed stable leadership for the Members of the Service and for residents of Toronto, as the world emerges from a global pandemic, punctuated by the unique issues it has presented. This will also allow for an effective transition period that can support continued progress on the Board’s and Service’s community safety priorities.
During the remainder of Chief Ramer’s term, the Board’s selection process for the next Chief will continue.
The period of Chief Ramer’s appointment to date has been marked by extraordinary and significant challenges, opportunities, as well as progress. During his term, Chief Ramer has not only navigated the organization with tremendous grace, diplomacy and insight, but he has also demonstrated a sincere and concrete commitment to issues of accountability, transparency and policing reform. Chief Ramer has also meaningfully deepened the Service’s relationships with the many communities it serves. These perspectives are echoed by positive and ongoing feedback the Board has received regarding Chief Ramer’s approach and leadership from a broad range of organizations that have been engaged in collaborating to enhance the safety of our communities, and trust between police and the communities they serve. The Board is confident that Chief Ramer will continue, during the remainder of his term, to make the kind of progress that will enhance community safety and public trust across the city.
The next milestone in the Chief Selection process is a release of the final report from the Chief Selection public engagement phase, independently led by Environics Research Group Limited. Environics conducted a series of public consultations and surveys to inform the Board in its search for the next Chief of Police. This public engagement, the most extensive for a Chief selection process that the Board has organized to date, provided opportunities for people across the city to share input on this topic, ensuring that a diverse range of voices were heard. Environics’ report will be released publicly on the Board’s website on August 23, 2021, and will inform the next phase of the search process: the Board’s executive search, which will be managed by Boyden. The Board will continue to work with Environics and Boyden to infuse community voices and sentiment into the executive search and selection process.
Chair Hart, on behalf of the Board, stated, “Chief Ramer’s leadership over his term as Chief has been nothing short of outstanding, effectively championing his Members internally, while also always working collaboratively with the Board and other stakeholders to ensure that policing services delivered in this city professionally, equitably, and with compassion. He is a respected leader among the rank and file, but also as an executive police leader among his peers. Throughout his career, Chief Ramer has demonstrated stellar law enforcement leadership, balanced by a track record of working with communities to foster meaningful partnerships and effective, sustained mobilization. While Chief Ramer guides the Service as we move out of the COVID-19 pandemic, having a stronger foundation of progress on our priorities will provide the best context in which the Board can select the next Chief to lead the Toronto Police Service.”
The Board believes that the extension of Chief Ramer’s appointment will ensure a better transition to the next Chief, once they are named. This approach is consistent with a renewed human resources strategy for the organization which is focused on succession planning and a strategic approach to developing our Members, including the Service’s Executive Leadership Team.
The Board will continue to set clear priorities and objectives for Chief Ramer over this period, that incorporate the expectations of the public, including:
- continued progress to implement the Board’s 81 policing reform recommendations;
- moving forward on implementing the 151 recommendations arising from the Independent Civilian Review into Missing Persons Investigations;
- the Service’s ongoing efforts to modernize its approach to gun and gang violence;
- guiding the Service as it moves out of the COVID-19 pandemic;
- a renewed focus on Human Resources, centering diversity and inclusion throughout the Service; and,
- ensuring an enhanced focus on Service Members, and their health and wellness, including their mental health.
The Board thanks Chief Ramer for his inspiring leadership, and looks forward to a continued partnership that will provide Torontonians with effective, equitable, and compassionate policing services. The Board also looks forward to continuing its Chief Selection process, striving to find the best candidate for this significant appointment.
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
Advisor, Toronto Police Services Board