Mark Saunders sworn in as Toronto Police chief
Former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair: “(Saunders) is a man of great integrity. He is a man of courage. He is a leader. He has demonstrated those characteristics and that strength throughout his entire police career, and I commend the (Toronto Police Services Board) for his selection, to take our police services forward.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory: “Mark Saunders, I’ve come to see, understands the immense public trust which accompanies the new job that he officially takes on today, and he knows that maintaining that trust is not automatic, it’s earned. I am confident that his experience, both live and in police service, combined with his balance, his sensitivity and his respect for the people of Toronto will allow him to be a police chief that we can all be very proud of.”
Alok Mukherjee, Toronto Police Services Board Chair: “I have had the opportunity to work closely with Mark over the last several years, and I have always been impressed by his considerable recent expertise and his respectful leadership style. He is known as approachable and genuine.”
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders: “We have to ensure that our community engagements become smarter, surgical, that they are informed and guided by the latest and most accurate intelligence. That they are guided by the law. We will target our investigative efforts at the criminal elements where they will be most effective. We will do our best to minimize the social cost of our investigative efforts.”
MEDALS On his left-hand side, Saunders wore two medals pinned to his navy dress uniform. One, marked by a blue and yellow striped band, is the Police Exemplary Service medal, issued by the federal government to an officer who has served 20 years without being convicted of serious misconduct that lead to a Police Service Act charge. For every ten years beyond that, an officer get’s a metal band to go overtop of the stripes. The medal showing the Queen’s profile, attached to a red, white and blue striped band, marks Saunders as the recipient of a Diamond Jubilee Medal, given to recognize his public service.
THE HAT Look closely and notice the brims of the hats worn by Toronto Police officers are far from uniform. Its varying bands and decorations detail the rank of each officers. Inspectors have a black band around the brim, Superintendants a gold band, and Deputy Chiefs have one row of a gold, braid-like design that looks a bit like a Laurel leaf encircling the brim. The chief’s hat is one of a kind, the only one with two of the gold braids. And for anyone whose police hat brim symbolism is not up to snuff, there’s another clue. The hat says “Chief of Police” in all caps.
CREST Right above his medals on the left side of his uniform, Saunders has a crest that signifies that he is what’s called an honourary “aides-de-camp” for the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Part of a tradition that has existed since the beginning of Confederation, the crest signifies the ability to accompany the Lieutenant Governor at official functions.

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