Mukherjee resigns as chair of Toronto Police Services Board
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Thursday, June 18, 2015 6:03AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 18, 2015 1:07PM EDT
Alok Mukherjee says he will resign as chair of the Toronto Police Services Board as of August 1.
Mukherjee made the announcement at the beginning of the Toronto Police Services Board meeting on Thursday morning.
“The time has come to move on. There are other projects that I have shelved in order to dedicate my full time and attention to the task of chairing this board. It is time to turn my attention to those unfinished or pending projects," the outgoing chair said Thursday morning.
"It has been privilege and honour to serve as chair of this board. I want to thank the city of Toronto and the province of Ontario for their confidence in me."
For the past decade, Mukherjee served as the chair of the board and said Thursday that he believes the service is "very different" from what it was 10 years ago.
"These 10 years have seen some of the most difficult challenges this board and this police service have faced. I believe that on balance, we met those challenges well, learned from them and made good changes in the public interest," he said.
Mukherjee was appointed to the board in 2004 and over the years, was outspoken on a number of controversies within the police service, including the handling of the G20 protests.
The board chair himself was at the centre of controversy last year after posting a photo on Facebook highlighting police brutality in the United States.
While Mukherjee said he believes the board has made big strides in terms of the way in which it serves the community, he said there is a great deal of work ahead.
"We have to come to terms with the troubling issue of carding. We have dedicated significant time and resources to this issue, and while we now await the direction that province has promised to provide, we must set out in no uncertain terms our expectation of the kind of policing we want to see in this community," he said.
He concluded the announcement by asking that the province move quickly to fill the position of board chair.
"I believe the board will benefit from new leadership as it moves to the next phase," he said.
Mukherjee did not hint at any potential candidates for the job but sources tell CP24 that Andy Pringle, a personal friend of both Mayor John Tory and ex-chief Bill Blair, is expected to take over as the interim chair of the board until a permanent replacement is found.
There are reports that Mukherjee intends to take on a teaching position at Ryerson University but he has not yet confirmed that information.