Toronto church holds farewell for York’s LaBarge

By RON FANFAIR

Community service has been the hallmark of outgoing York Regional Police Service (YRPS) chief Armand LaBarge who retires in December after 37 years policing in York region and countless hours of service that has benefited myriad communities and charitable causes.

Fellow police officers, politicians and members of the community paid tribute to LaBarge last Saturday night at a farewell dinner organized by 13 Division police officer Ojo Tewogbade and the British Methodist Episcopal Church.

LaBarge regularly attends the church’s Black History Month celebration in February.

“He has made it his duty to celebrate the event with us every year,” said Rev. Maurice Hicks. “Though he’s leaving the service, we know he’s still going to be committed to community work.”

Eglinton-Lawrence Member of Provincial Parliament Mike Colle said LaBarge is a tireless worker and remarkable inspiration for others.

Toronto Police Service Deputy Chief Peter Sloly praised LaBarge for his years of commitment and loyalty and his unfailing support to diverse communities.

“Wherever he goes, people don’t stare at the little patch on the shoulder of the uniform he wears,” said Sloly. “They look at the institution that it represents. So we have always been a little intimidated when he comes to town to speak, but we always leave feeling a little bit better because he has raised the profile and the trust in policing because of who he is, how he speaks and how he relates to communities.”

Sloly said LaBarge played a major role in his ascension as the youngest officer to hold the second highest rank on the Toronto force.

LaBarge retires on December 12, eight years after becoming the region’s seventh police chief.

 

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