Deputy Police Chief Keith Forde of the Toronto Police Service is the first member of a visible minority to hold that office. He joined the Toronto Police force in 1972, and was told at the time he was the 18th black officer to be hired to the squad. For a wide-eyed new recruit, just 23 y-o at the time, who was born and raised in Barbados, this was a lonely and hard lesson.
Prior to this appointment as Deputy Chief, he was the Superintendent in charge of the Toronto Police Service Training & Education Unit. There, he introduced many innovative changes. He established a Human Relations Section with the mandate to design and deliver courses in "professionalism in Policing" which focuses on ethics, diversity and customer service. He also ensured that ethics and diversity training was interwoven through every aspect of the curriculum.
From 1995-1997 he was Aide de Camp to the Honourable Henry N. R. Jackman, C.M., K.ST.J., LLD, then the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
Forde was active in law enforcement for more than 38 years. Once he became Deputy Chief, he brought considerable experience and knowledge of both police operations and organizational management. He's also held diverse management positions including: Duty Operations, Unit Commander of Divisions 52 and 11, Prosecution Services, Complaints Review and Community Policing Support throughout his tenure.
He was an outspoken advocate for Employment Equity and championed the need for improved race relations within the Police Service. Through his longstanding ties to the community, he successfully fostered several productive partnerships between communities, government agencies and organizations within and outside of Toronto.
In addition to Keith's phenomenal contributions to Police services in Canada, he's been an active role leader, model, mentor, and advocate in local communities. This includes actively fundraising for several community organizations including the Olive Branch of Hope, Church of the Nativity, and Save the Youth Support Services over the last few decades. He is also a proud family man and as a father, wanted his kids to grow up in the city he loves, while shielding them from the misery he saw there every day. He instilled very strong values in his two sons and daughter, including to always remember God. His Son Ryan and Roger both went on to become Sergeant's with the Toronto Police and his Daughter work is Police Communications.
Deputy Forde has received numerous awards from citizens groups, community organizations, government agencies, faith groups and from within the policing community, including the Harry Jerome Trailblazer Award, the African Canadian Achievement Award, Barbados Community Recognition Award, Jamaica Community Award and the Chief of Police Excellence Award.
Keith Forde retired in 2015, rightfully credited with making the force more diverse and revamping its training programs, has announced his retirement. Truly a remarkable man.