The Toronto Police Services Board has refused extension to the outgoing police chief Bill Blair, reported National Post. The Board issued a statement stating its inability to renew the agreement of Blair and announced it was looking for a new face. Blair has the repute of being a no-nonsense police chief and many see his cold relations with the Mayor could be one reason for the denial of extension.
Toronto Sun adds that the Board's decision is indeed a blessing in disguise to Blair. When he will step down in April next year, he will be eligible for a full year's salary - $367,719, plus $3,006 in benefits. This is stated in his contract with the Toronto Police Services Board. The clause holds that if the Board turns down Bill's request for one more term, then he must be given the pay for a full year. Board Chairman Alok Mukherjee acknowledged that the extra year kicked in when Blair asked for a third term and the Board rejected it.
Mayor Rob Ford expressed happiness at the impending exit of police chief and said he would look forward to the next police chief in April. Ford had a brawl with the police chief and his inebriated rant is available in a video format. However, Board chair Alok Mukherjee denied rumours that the handling of G20 riots and the Ford investigation were factors that went against Blair.
Many Toronto councilors came out with their views on Blair issue. While councillor Doug Ford wished the chief the very best, councillor Giorgio Mammoliti said he would move a motion in the city council seeking the reversal of Board's decision.
Mammoliti regretted that Toronto will be the only city in North America to have punished a police chief when the crime rate was actually going down. He called the decision politically motivated. Councillor Joe Mihevc hailed Blair as a great chief but respected the board's decision. Councillor John Parker also regretted the board's decision.
Blair was sworn in as the head of the largest municipal police force in April, 2005 under the then mayor David Miller. Blair is credited with changing the face of Toronto police by making it more diverse and people oriented.