Canada has its fourth Black deputy police chief.
Jamaica-born Andre Crawford was elevated to the executive command team with York Regional Police Service where he has been a member since 1986.
The Superintendent in charge of community services with responsibility for building partnerships and engaging citizens through innovative outreach programs, crime prevention initiatives and volunteer opportunities, Crawford will be sworn in on November 6.
“He brings exceptional investigative and operational knowledge and a strong commitment to community,” said the Regional Municipality of York Police Services board chair Frank Scarpitti. “He is an excellent addition to the executive command team’s mandate to deliver excellence in policing services.”
Chief Eric Jolliffe acknowledged the board for recognizing the Service’s commitment to building leaders from within the organization.
“I am extremely pleased to welcome Superintendent Crawford to our executive command team and I look forward to working alongside him as we continue to build an organization that is vision-inspired, mission-focused and values-driven,” said Jolliffe.
The holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo, Crawford is also a graduate of the Rotman School of Management police leadership program and Boston’s senior management institute for police.
He is a member of the Aurora Film Circuit Steering, the York Regional Police Black History Month and the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police community & crime prevention, youth, mental health support and team steering committees.
“The African, Caribbean and Canadian community of York region is extremely elated with this appointment,” said Markham African Caribbean Association president, Pat Howell. “This is a historic occasion and we would like to extend our congratulations to him.”
Crawford, who is the recipient of the Chief of Police Award for investigative excellence and a Human Rights & Race Relations Centre Gold Medal, was the fifth Black to join the Service following Leroy Chance, the late Calvin Ceballo and serving members Staff Sergeant Ezra “Tony” Browne and Inspector Keith Merith.
Toronto Police Service led the way in promoting Blacks to the executive command rank. Keith Forde, who retired three years ago, was appointed in 2005. Peter Sloly and Mark Saunders are among the Service’s three deputy chiefs.
Winnipeg Police Service chief Devon Clunis made the leap from superintendent.