David Mitchell has demonstrated leadership in the community and law enforcement.
A few years ago, he led an initiative to identify the threat of gangs at the Toronto East Detention Centre. The Security Threat Unit worked to create an unprecedented networking relationship between the Toronto Police Service Intelligence and Correctional Services to share information.
The success of the innovative partnership led other security agencies, including the Canadian Border Services Agency and Correctional Services Canada, to form partnerships and extend the sharing of critical information.
Mitchell, who also developed a partnership with the New York City Department of Corrections to study their gang management initiatives, was recently recognized with a Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services Ovation award for leadership.
“I think that it’s an acknowledgement of the impact that I have had on the people I work with in that it is they who nominated me for this recognition,” he said. “I am thankful and pleased that people see me as a leader that is worthy of their respect and that they felt motivated enough to present me for organizational recognition.”
Assistant deputy minister Marg Welch said Mitchell sees his role as broader than most.
“He is concerned about the relationships with his officers and the community,” she said. “He believes in making a difference in the community through volunteer work and community engagement.”
An Association of Black Law Enforcers (ABLE) co-founder, Mitchel was promoted to his current rank – director of Central Region (community services) – two years ago. He’s 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.
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 co-ordinator and assistant community centre co-ordinator 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.
Nine 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 co-operative service during the complaint resolution process.
In May 2011, 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.