Toronto police’s 2 female deputy chiefs leaving the force for other roles Meredith Bond

Toronto Police Service’s highest ranking female officers are leaving the police force for other roles.

Deputy Chief Barbara McLean has been tapped as the Investigations Director for the Mass Casualty Commission which is the joint federal and provincial inquiry into the Nova Scotia mass shooting in April of 2020. She has spent the last 28 years with Toronto police.

McLean was described by the TPS Board as “a vital leader and key influencer in both the strategy and implementation of Toronto Police Service’s modernization strategy” who contributed significantly to outreach and engagement with the LGBTQ2S community.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Shawna Coxon will be headed across the Atlantic to join the An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s National Police and Security Service as the Deputy Commissioner. She is the first Canadian to join the service.

Coxon was “a champion for transformation and modernization” during her 24-year career with TPS, according to the Board.

Both were appointed as deputy chiefs in 2017 with Coxon leading the service’s Human Resources command and McLean the Communities and Neighbourhoods Command pillar. They are currently the only female deputy chiefs within the Toronto police.

Interim Police Chief James Ramer has appointed Deputy Peter Yuen to take over McLean’s role in Communities and Neighbourhoods. The Human Resources command will be assigned closer to when Coxon’s last day is announced.

The Toronto Police board congratulated the two deputies for “these significant and prestigious appointments, a remarkable testament to their incredible leadership capabilities.”

Ramer has been interim police chief since Aug. 1, 2020 when Chief Mark Saunders stepped down. The search for a permanent chief of police is still ongoing.


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