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Ontario hires Jamaican Canadian Devon Clunis as First Inspector General of Policing

Photo: Devon Clunis


October 2, 2020 | Vision Newspaper |

New oversight role will enhance policing services delivery and increase public trust

TORONTO — The Ontario government has appointed Devon Clunis as the province’s first Inspector General of Policing. In this new role, Mr. Clunis, a former chief of the Winnipeg Police Service, will provide oversight of policing in Ontario. He will also be responsible for setting up an Inspectorate of Policing, which will work with the government and its partners to develop regulations under the Community Safety and Policing Act (CSPA), 2019.

“I am delighted to welcome Mr. Clunis as Ontario’s first Inspector General of Police,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “With his proven track record as an exceptional and transformational police leader, Mr. Clunis’ contribution will be invaluable as we continue our work to ensure Ontarians receive the modern, efficient and high-quality policing services they deserve. The inspectorate that he will establish will improve transparency and accountability to the public and help increase trust between the public and their police services.”

The inspectorate will operate at arm’s length from government to provide policing oversight and ensure effective policing services are provided to every community in Ontario. The inspectorate will:

  • Monitor and conduct inspections of police services to ensure compliance with the CSPA and its regulations once this act is in force.
  • Monitor and conduct inspections of police service boards to prevent police misconduct and impose measures where necessary.
  • Investigate policing complaints related to the provision of adequate and effective policing services.
  • Develop, maintain and manage records, conduct analyses regarding compliance with the CSPA and publish inspection results and annual reports.

The creation of the position of Inspector General of Policing is the next step in delivering on the government’s commitment to reform policing in Ontario following the passage of the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act in 2019. This ongoing work will provide the province with a modern policing oversight framework for generations to come.


Quick Facts

  • Devon Clunis joined the Winnipeg Police Service in 1987 and served in all areas of the service over the course of his career before being named to the role of chief in 2012, making him the first Black Canadian to become a chief of police.
  • As chief of police, Clunis led a transformational and cultural shift within the service that successfully modernized its model of policing from reactive and crime focused to a proactive community health and well-being model.
  • After his retirement in 2016, Clunis continued to work in the field of policing as a consultant. In 2016, he was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding.
  • Clunis has co-authored two children’s books on diversity and inclusion and has been central to national conversations on policing and community relationships arising from the Black communities’ calls for justice in the delivery of policing services.

SOURCE: Province of Ontario

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