Superintendent Keith Merith, York Regional Police Service
Superintendent Keith Merith
Keith Merith is a 30 year veteran of the York Regional Police Service who exemplifies what it means to ensure citizens feel safe and secure through excellence in policing. He has formally achieved the rank of Superintendent, presently assigned to Court Services and Information Management. His former assignment was in Corporate Development as the Officer-in-Charge of Professional Development which includes Staff Development and Recruiting. However, his legacy extends beyond title to include building visible and accessible policing units integrated with the community and instrumental in solving and preventing crime.
Keith was previously the President of the Association of Black Law Enforcers (ABLE), focusing on promoting racial harmony and cultural pride within law enforcement and the community. The ABLE organization also puts an emphasis on providing scholarships to black and other racial minority students pursuing post-secondary studies in law enforcement, corrections, criminology and law. Keith is also the co-founder of the Citizenship Initiative Group leading permanent residents to take the next step towards Canadian Citizenship.
In 2013, Keith was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, for his outstanding contribution to our Canadian community.
The Association of Black Law Enforcers is very proud of Keith and his tremendous accomplishments. He is a positive role model to everyone.
Assistant Deputy Minister of Youth and Child Services David Mitchell
Assistant Deputy Minister of Youth and Child Services David Mitchell
David Mitchell is a 26 year veteran of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services who is a great example of someone who strives to be the best. He has formally achieved the position of Assistant Deputy Minister of Child and Youth Services.
David began his career in Institutional services 26 years ago as a Correctional Officer. Since that time he held progressively responsible positions in numerous institutions including Sergeant, Anti-Racism Coordinator, Deputy Superintendent and Superintendent. In 2007 David became the founding manager of the Guns and Gangs unit in Institutional Services. Following that role he held the position of Superintendent of Mimico Correctional Centre from 2009 to 2011.
David joined Community Services as the Area Manager for Scarborough in April 2011, and shortly thereafter he began his current assignment as Regional Director in Central Region.
David is well known and respected for his commitment to diversity and inclusion along with his long standing record of community involvement and advocacy. To name a few accomplishments, David is the founding President of the Association of Black Law Enforcers, Executive Lead for the Council on Unity and Racial Equality, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee for Humber College Justice Studies Program and member of the Durham Regional Police Chief’s Diversity Committee.
The Association of Black Law Enforcers if proud of David and his tremendous accomplishments. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours.
Sunday, January 29th, 2017
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
255 Front Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 2W6 Time: 12 pm - 5pm
OBHS Members $100
Non Members $110
Table of 10 $1,000
'He paved the road for us': First black police officer in Toronto dies at 87
Lawrence McLarty joined Toronto police in 1960, rising to the rank of detective sergeant
By Kate McGillivray, CBC News Posted: Dec 06, 2016
Lawrence McLarty in 2014, at a Black History Month event at police headquarters. (Toronto Police Service)
Lawrence McLarty, who overcame discrimination and "paved the road" for African-Canadians to join Toronto police by becoming the city's first black officer, has died at the age of 87.
McLarty, who went by Larry, joined the Toronto police in 1960 after moving to Canada from Jamaica.
McLarty's family snapped this picture in their Etobicoke front yard the day after he became a sergeant. (Submitted by McLarty family)
In his 32 years on the police force, he rose from walking the beat on streets such as Bloor and College to being one of the initial members of Toronto's emergency task force. He retired as a detective sergeant in 1992.
"He was very proud about being the first black police officer in Toronto," said his son, Michael McLarty. "On a personal level, it was an achievement. But on another level, it represented a secure job with steady income, that he could provide for his family."
Friends and former colleagues attended McLarty's funeral on Wednesday.
Tiffany Castell, a Toronto police detective, described McLarty as a "trailblazer."
"He provided me the opportunity to be here," said Castell.
"Every single day of my career and every single day of my life I will be thankful. And I will strive to embody his legacy," said Castell.
'The first of his race to meet requirements'
McLarty's first application to the Toronto police was rejected, despite his eight years of experience as a police constable in Jamaica.
"He was told he was one-eighth of an inch too short for the job," Michael McLarty said. "A few months later he went to buy a suit, and the tailor measured his height, and he discovered he actually did meet the requirement of 5-foot-10, at least by half-an-inch."
McLarty applied again and was successful.
A 1960 clipping from the Globe and Mail shows McLarty and Michael, his son. (Submitted by Reuben Stroble)
An article published by the Globe and Mail at the time of his hiring quotes the police commissioner as saying that McLarty joining the service did not represent a change in hiring practices — he was simply "the first of his race to meet requirements."
Michael McLarty said his father faced some discrimination inside and outside of the office as he moved forward in his career.
"There were certainly instances of prejudice or resentment by other police officers and from the public, not used to seeing a black police officer with authority," he said. "But I will say, overall, many of his fellow police officers were very supportive."
McLarty 'paved the road' for black officers
Sonia Thomas, an inspector at 53 Division, said the name Larry McLarty is well-known among black officers in Toronto.
"We know and understand the struggle he went through ... He paved the road for us," said Thomas, who in 1986 became the second black woman to join the Toronto police.
"And even 26 years after he started, when I was hired, there were challenges," said Thomas.
"He is a mentor to me because he had the courage to stand alone and the strength and endurance to persevere for something that we all value and take for granted today," said Toronto Police Superintendent Reuben Stroble. (CBC)
Reuben Stroble, the superintendent of 53 Division, described McLarty as a "mentor" in an e-mail to CBC Toronto.
"Over the years, I have gotten to know Mr. McLarty, and I was inspired by his courage and determination to join an organization that was overtly biased towards people of colour," he wrote.
A 'let's get it done' guy
Michael McLarty also remembers who his father was at home, describing a man deeply committed to his family who loved to have fun.
"He loved reggae music and barbecues. We had a pool. He was kind of famous for hosting his parties, especially his New Year's Eve parties," he said.
McLarty doesn't think his father spent much time thinking about being a trailblazer.
Lawrence McLarty speaking after receiving an award from the Toronto Police Black Internal Support Network. (Toronto Police Services)
"My dad is more an action-guy, let's get it done, let's move forward. I don't think he was very reflective on what he'd done. But certainly, from meeting other black police officers now, they've been very appreciative about what my dad did and supported him even in retirement."
A scholarship award for black youth interested in police work was created in McLarty's name, and until his health declined, McLarty was there each year to present it.
He died on Dec. 1 in Oshawa. Information about McLarty's funeral is available here.
Dalhousie U Professor Appointed to Senate
Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard
By RON FANFAIR
A community-engaged scholar, who actively links her research, teaching and practice to community activism, is among nine non-partisan senators appointed by the federal Liberal government.
Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard, the first Black Nova Scotian to hold a tenure-track position at Halifax’s Dalhousie University and to be promoted to full professor, is among the inaugural appointments under the new process in which individuals can directly apply to an independent board to join the upper house.
Of the 2,700 applicants, the board recommended 105 to Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
“It’s very exciting, but it’s also very humbling, because I take this responsibility very seriously,” said Dr. Thomas Bernard after learning of the appointment. “My interest in being part of the senate is to continue to do the work I’ve been doing around equity and diversity and inclusiveness. Equity for all is my primary goal in life. To be able to enter the senate with that perspective and contribute to the country is an incredible privilege and one that I know I will be accountable for.”
Named to the Order of Canada 11 years ago and the Order of Nova Scotia in 2014, Thomas Bernard thanked her supporters for the encouragement to apply.
Race Data and Traffic Stops in Ottawa
By Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane
OHRC Submission to the Independent Review of Police Oversight Bodies
Street Checks and Racial Profiling are serious issues that have been
occuring within policing. A.B.L.E. has submitted documents
discussing the issues.
Consumer Computer Services Inc.