Taverner takes name out of running for OPP Commissioner
"To protect the integrity of the rank and file"
Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones will be sifting through resumes again looking for a new OPP Commissioner.
Ron Taverner – the Commish Designate – withdrew his name last night
Taverner said the decision was not an easy one, but the men and women who make up the front lines of the OPP deserve leadership that will put
their concerns and well-being at the forefront of decision-making, “It is only then that the OPP will truly serve and protect the public to the best of its ability.”
There had been accusations of political interference in the appointment of Taverner.
Premier Ford maintains Taverner – Ford family friend – would have been a “tremendous asset” to the OPP
Interim OPP commissioner Gary Couture will remain in the position for now.
Taverner will stay on as a superintendent with Toronto Police.
Please accept this letter as my request to withdraw my name from consideration for the position of Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
This decision is not an easy one for me to make. I believe the OPP requires new leadership and a change in culture at its most senior levels. The thousands of men and women who make up the front lines of the OPP deserve leadership that will put their concerns and well-being at the forefront of decision-making. It is only then that the OPP will truly serve and protect the public to the best of its ability. It is for these very reasons that I have come to this decision – to protect the integrity of rank and file police officers given the controversy surrounding my appointment.
I am grateful to have had the confidence of the Government and believe that my 51-years in law enforcement would have provided me with the experience and leadership skills to do the job of Commissioner in a way that would have served the interest of the public and front-line police officers in the best way possible.
Premier Doug Ford Statement
“I have the highest degree of respect for the front-line officers of the OPP and all police officers across this province – they put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities and keep us safe.
“Since the beginning of this process, our objective has been to bring new leadership in order to address many long-standing and systemic issues that have existed for some time within the OPP; I am concerned about the countless negative stories I have heard directly from front-line officers. As far as our rank and file officers are concerned we must do better.
“We need a new vision for the OPP; one that puts the interests of our front-line officers and the safety of the people of Ontario as its primary focus, above all else. Bringing about this kind of change at the OPP will require new leadership and it will not be easy, but it is necessary.
“On behalf of the Government, I want to thank Ron Taverner for putting his name forward. His fifty years of policing experience and support for the front-lines would have been a tremendous asset to the OPP and to the people of Ontario. It is very unfortunate that the opposition has chosen to politicize this process rather than focusing on how we can support our front-line officers.
“I want every police officer in Ontario to know that I will always stand behind them.”