For the Toronto Police Service to adapt to changing needs, Mukherjee says it will need to adopt a change in leadership.
“He understood 10 years ago what needed to be done and what the public expectation was. But he will have done that for 10 years, and if now is the time to begin to think about this organization a year from now, five years from now, then you also need to think about building a new cadre of leadership.”
-Alok Mukherjee, chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, on the civilian board’s decision not to renew current police Chief Bill Blair’s contract next April. In an interview with the Toronto Star, Mukherjee explained that the decision did not arise as the result of any current controversy—as has been the case with previous chiefs—but because the board was focused on where policing in the city is failing, and how it can improve by adapting to changing needs. “What I see is the traditional model, which has outlived its utility and relevance,” Mukherjee said, noting that policing is increasingly not just about fighting crime, but also about handling issues of youth safety, domestic violence, and mental illness.