Toronto Police Services Board Announces Retirement of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Tony Veneziano
Today, Chief Administrative Officer Tony Veneziano of the Toronto Police Service’s Command Team – an extremely dedicated and skilled leader of the organization – announced his retirement.
Chief Administrative Officer Veneziano oversees the Service’s annual operating and capital budget processes, and is responsible for human resource services, including the Toronto Police College; equity, inclusion and human rights; wellness; labour relations; talent acquisition; and people strategy & performance. In addition, procurement, facilities, fleet, accounting and legal services fall under his area of responsibility.
He is the longest serving Command Officer, with 17 years with our organization, and has worked with three Chiefs of Police during this time. He will be retiring effective September 12, 2022.
The Toronto Police Services Board would like to thank this exceptional police leader for his dedication to the Toronto Police Service and to the residents of this city. As an accomplished, professional, committed, and focused member of the Service’s Command Team, he has helped enormously in charting our way forward, with his vast expertise in: business, risk and strategic management; human resources; and fiscal responsibility.
Tony Veneziano was appointed the Service’s Chief Administrative Officer on December 12, 2005. Prior to joining the Service, CAO Veneziano was with the former Regional Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and current City of Toronto for 20 years, where he moved up progressively through the organization. At the City of Toronto, reporting directly to the City Auditor General and then to the City Manager, he oversaw the completion of a number of reviews that resulted in significant cost-savings and revenue enhancements, improved operational effectiveness and the mitigation of risks in the organization. CAO Veneziano also established the internal audit function at the City, managed various forensic investigations, and oversaw the implementation of the City of Toronto’s fraud and waste hotline - the first of its kind in Canada.
CAO Veneziano is experienced in dealing with highly sensitive and complex issues, and is a results-oriented and proactive leader. He has promoted continuous improvement, risk-management and a value-for-money approach across the Service, and has led the movement towards the effective management of people, projects, contracts, operations and assets. At the Service, CAO Veneziano has led the development of annual operating and capital budgets, keeping annual increases at or below the rate of inflation. Working with his dedicated and knowledgeable Finance team, he develops the budgets in consultation with the Chief of Police and his fellow Command officers, and ensures that both the Board and City Council have the information they need to make informed decisions. CAO Veneziano has also led the replacement and renovation of a number of the Service’s divisional facilities, as well as the construction of a new Toronto Police College and a property and evidence storage facility. In addition, he has been a command level member of executive steering committees that oversaw the successful implementation of various technological projects, including the Digital Video Management System, the In-Car Camera System and the Body-Worn Camera Program. These systems have created efficiencies, reduced risk and increased officer accountability, with the objective of increasing public confidence and trust, which are critical to the delivery of effective and value-added public safety services.
CAO Veneziano is an active promoter of a psychologically safe and inclusive work environment. He is dedicated to ensuring that practices and policies are equitable, and encourages a healthy, safe and progressive workplace that focuses on member well-being, leadership, accountability, transparency and diverse representation. CAO Veneziano is also a member of many law enforcement associations, and is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for his outstanding contributions to the Toronto Police Service and the City of Toronto.
On commenting on CAO Veneziano’s career with the Service, Chair Jim Hart praised his noted emphasis on integrity and ethical standards, stating that “CAO Veneziano has clearly demonstrated a career-long focus on accountability and fiscal responsibility, and has been a progressive leader as we modernize and transform our organization, always focused on finding innovative ways to better serve the public as efficiently and effectively as possible.”
Chief James Ramer said, “Tony has represented the Toronto Police Service with distinction and is a true professional and diplomat. He has been an effective advocate for our organization as well as our members, in promoting safe, progressive workplaces. We wish him well in his retirement. He will be missed by many.”
Under the Police Services Act, the Board has the responsibility of appointing Command Members, the Deputy Chiefs and the Chief Administrative Officer.
Ms. Svina Dhaliwal will serve in the CAO role on an acting basis. Ms. Dhaliwal joined the Service in 2018 as the Director of Finance and Business Management, and is currently the Interim Director of People and Culture. In her current role, Director Dhaliwal oversees all aspects of a Service Member’s employment journey with the organization; hiring, training, wellness, equity and inclusion, payroll and benefits, labour relations, workforce analytics and human resource strategy. She also serves as Co-Chair for the Service’s French Community Consultative Committee, and sits on the Board’s Anti-Racism Advisory Panel (ARAP). Director Dhaliwal has extensive experience in organizational transformation, including strategy development, service delivery models, change management and value realization, making her an excellent choice to lead these critical areas of the Service as transformation continues.
It should be noted that CAO Veneziano’s replacement is being made on an acting basis. Part of the rationale for this decision is that the Board is currently in the midst of an extensive Chief Selection Process, one of the Board’s most significant responsibilities. The desire for stability and continued progress in these areas needs to be balanced with having the next Chief, once selected, provide input into those individuals that will ultimately serve in these positions permanently.
Given CAO Veneziano’s retirement, and because the budget process will be commencing soon, Director Dhaliwal, will assume leadership of this process from the outset, to ensure consistency in this pivotal leadership role. In her acting CAO role, Director Dhaliwal will lead the Service in the development of the 2023 budgets, including the community consultation and engagement that will inform it, as well continuing the modernization of the budget to a services/product based approach.
Once CAO Veneziano steps down on September 12, 2022, Director Dhaliwal will take over all CAO responsibilities.
The Board thanks CAO Veneziano for his outstanding and meaningful contributions to both the Service and the City of Toronto over the years. He leaves a remarkable and lasting legacy that will continue to impact our organization as we move forward.
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.