Association of Black Law Enforcers (ABLE) co-founder and former president David Mitchell has been promoted to regional director in the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. He will be responsible for the administration and oversight of probation and parole services in the central region which is the largest of the four regions with a staff of close to 800.
Mitchell replaces Bose Sookdeosingh who is retiring.
Deputy Minister of Correctional Services Jay Hope said Mitchell has performed at a high level for a long time.
“He’s battle tested, a superb communicator and a man who stands up for doing the right thing time and again despite adverse conditions,” said Hope.
Mitchell, who is currently the Scarborough Probation and Parole area manager, takes up his new appointment on November 1.
“I am looking forward to the new challenge,” said the former Toronto Community Housing chair. “It’s consistent with the ministry’s commitment to integrate all of the services in terms of making sure that we are drawing talent from both sides of the institutional and community services while maintaining equity and competence and ensuring that Correctional Services is aligned to meet future succession management needs.”
Born in England, Mitchell came to Canada with his family in 1969 at the age of three. He worked with the former City of North York Parks & Recreation Community Services Division as a program coordinator and assistant community centre coordinator and served as the first Youth Sub-Committee chair of the North York Secondary School Principals’ Advisory Council before pursuing a law enforcement career in 1990.
After completing his training, he spent 18 months as a general duty officer at the Toronto jail before being dispatched to the Admitting and Discharge Unit. He was promoted to acting sergeant in 1994 and a few months later he was assigned to the Anti-Racism Unit where he was responsible for assisting in the implementation of recommendations made in the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System report.
He also held the ranks of captain and acting deputy superintendent at the Toronto Jail and deputy superintendent in charge of operations at the Toronto East Detention Centre.
As one of ABLE’s seven co-founders, Mitchell has consistently advocated for positive changes and initiatives in law enforcement that will benefit a multicultural and multi-racial society.
The former Lawrence Heights resident, who developed a keen interest in youth and community issues while working with the North York Parks & Recreation department, is a member of the City of Toronto’s Community Safety Panel and the York University President’s Task Force on Community Engagement.
Seven years ago, he was honoured with an Ombudsman Ontario Public Service Recognition award for demonstrating leadership in informal problem solving and early resolution of complaints, initiating innovative approaches to promote alternative dispute resolution, encouraging the application of systemic and system-wide problem solving and providing exceptional responsiveness and cooperative service during the complaint resolution process.
Last May, the Ontario Women in Law Enforcement (OWLE) recognized Mitchell with the President’s award at its annual gala.
The first manager of the Ontario Correctional Intelligence Unit, Mitchell became the fourth Black superintendent of an Ontario Correctional Centre in 2009, taking charge of Mimico which is a medium security facility in Etobicoke.