Halton police board sticks with Chief Tanner after Florida travel controversy Michael Talbot

Halton police Chief Stephen Tanner will not join the growing list of public figures who’ve been fired or nudged to resign after taking controversial trips during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, the Halton Police board released a statement saying it “has full and unequivocal confidence in Chief Stephen Tanner” to remain on as Chief after he admitted to travelling to Florida in late December.

Tanner said he travelled to Florida to attend to a property matter with the permission of former board Chair, Oakville mayor, Rob Burton.

Burton later stepped down from his role as Chair because of the controversy.

“I am resigning now as a member of the Halton Police Board, deeply regretful for my response to the chief’s proposed trip,” he wrote in a resignation letter on January 11.

“I regret sincerely that I focused at the time on the ways the chief’s trip qualified as essential travel. I should have recommended against it…”

On Thursday, the board announced that Jeff Knoll will replace Burton as Chair, with Ingrid Hann elected as Vice-Chair.

RELATED: Halton police chief ‘deeply regrets’ trip to Florida for ‘personal business’

Tanner was quick to apologize when news of his trip south broke, saying “it was a poor decision, and one that I deeply regret.”

Tanner released another statement after the Board backed him on Thursday.

“I sincerely appreciate the full and unequivocal confidence the Halton Police Board has placed in me as Chief of Police,” he said. “Regardless of the personal property related reasons for which I travelled recently, or the permission that I sought and obtained for that travel, I am remorseful for that decision.”

The Board said it would be reviewing its policies related to vacations during the pandemic.

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