Chief, Toronto Police Service
Police Foundations Leadership, 2008
In April 2015, after 32 years with the Toronto Police Service (TPS), Mark Saunders was appointed Chief of Police, making history as the first black officer to lead the largest municipal police service in Canada. He is the second black leader to head a police service anywhere in Canada.
Over his career, Saunders has seized every opportunity to expand his professional skills. While advancing his career with the TPS, he recognized the need to pursue a postsecondary education to develop an academic foundation and enrolled in Humber’s Police Foundations Leadership program. After completing a follow-up degree in Justice Studies at the University of Guelph-Humber, he acknowledges that his education has enabled him to see criminal justice and policing in a broader context.
Saunders represents the TPS on numerous committees and partnerships addressing diversity and community safety issues locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. He is currently the co-chair of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police - Organized Crime Committee and participates as a mentor for the Black Community Consultative Committee. He is also an advocate and volunteer with Autism Speaks, a cause close to his family.
Saunders is known for his passion of policing and his personal commitment to provide fair and impartial policing services. Hehas received several awards for his work, including the Harry Jerome Award for Public Service, the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Police Exemplary Service medal. He is also an officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.