Toronto’s Top Cop Is Officially Resigning (VIDEO)

Mark Saunders was Toronto Police's first black chief.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders Is Resigning After Five Years Effective July 31

There was some huge news in Toronto law enforcement on Monday, June 8. Toronto Police chief Mark Saunders announced he is resigning his post effective July 31. Saunders had been in the top position for just over five years.

The chief said in a news conference on Monday afternoon that he will be giving up his post as chief effective July 31.

Saunders began by talking about how he believes the TPS is "the greatest law enforcement agency in the world."

"Therefore it is not with a heavy heart that effective July 31 of this year, I will relinquish my seat as Chief of Police of the Toronto Police Service," said Saunders during the live presser.

When asked why he has decided to resign now, eight months ahead of the end of his contract as chief, Saunders shares that he’s ready to spend time with family, which he called the most important thing to him right now.

"There are a whole host of reasons and at the end of the day, it’s a whole bunch of things but it's going to be good to be a dad,” said Saunders.

"As a dad, as Mark Saunders, I can pick any time. But in my 37-plus years, I've never had an August off. This is going to be the first time I'm going to have an August off with my family and not sure what to do with it yet but I'm looking forward to it."

Saunders has worked for Toronto Police Services for over 37 years. He was the service's first black chief in its history when he was appointed in April 2015, per CP24.

"We haven’t been perfect but we’ve always tried to move towards excellence,” he added.

"Thank you Toronto for working with me during my tenure," Saunders added. "It is something I'll cherish forever."

The chief noted he is not retiring from work altogether and said that he hopes to continue working in the city in some capacity after spending some time with his family.

Saunders' announcement comes as Toronto Police are facing an intensified spotlight from both inside and outside the city right now.

On Friday, he took a knee at a protest aimed at showing solidarity with the black community after recent high-profile incidents including the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet.

Korchinski-Paquet's death has seen an overwhelming call to mandate the use of body-worn cameras for officers.

Meanwhile, a social media movement to defund the Toronto Police is now being made official in a motion put forward by two councillors to be discussed at the end of June.

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