Deputy Toronto Police Chief Keith Forde has been an inspiration to most of the nearly 370 Black Toronto Police Service officers.
And, as the sun sets on his distinguished career, many of these young officers – including Deputy Chief Peter Sloly – are openly expressing their appreciation.
“Tonight is about great mentors and leaders in the police force and none stands taller than Keith Forde,” Sloly said at the Toronto Police Service Black Internal Support Network’s Black History Month fundraiser last week.
“My ride on the way to becoming Deputy Chief has been for the most part very smooth, but there have been a few bumps along the way. As you can imagine, it’s a very difficult job and it comes with very new challenges.”
Sloly also paid tribute to the service’s chief administrative officer Tony Veneziano for his professional ascendancy.
“Keith has been my biggest supporter, but Tony encouraged me and helped me get my feet off the ground,” added Sloly. “We should always look to our own for leadership and support, but we should also recognize that there are many, many other people in this organization – women and men, civilian and sworn, junior and senior officers, White and Black, gay and lesbian – who are willing to help us and work with us and that is a very important thing.”
Sloly and Forde, who was unable to attend the event, were both honoured for mentoring, coaching and supporting members to reach their full personal and professional potential.
Proceeds from last week’s fundraiser will go towards a scholarship for a Black student pursuing a policing career.