Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly Resigns

News of Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly’s resignation came as a surprise to many on Wednesday morning.

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Introduction

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly has resigned, effective immediately.

In a statement released on Wednesday morning, Chief Sloly said he was “proud of what we have accomplished” during his time with the Ottawa Police Service.

“I am confident that the Service is well-positioned to continue to provide excellent police service to the community,” he said.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as chief of police and I will always be grateful for the opportunity.”

Sloly was appointed chief of police in January of 2015, after serving as deputy chief for two years.

Background

On January 6th, 2020, Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly announced his resignation, effective February 28th. Sloly had been with the Ottawa Police for 27 years, serving as a frontline officer, staff sergeant, detective, and eventually becoming Chief in 2015. His resignation comes amid calls for police reform in the wake of several high-profile police shootings in Ottawa.

Sloly’s appointment as police chief

Sloly was appointed as chief of the Ottawa Police Service on October 28, 2019, succeeding Charles Bordeleau who announced his retirement in July 2019. He is the city’s 30th chief of police.

Sloly’s career in the Ottawa police force

Sloly began his career with the Ottawa police force in 1991. He rose through the ranks over the years, serving in a variety of roles including as a frontline police officer, a detective in the drug unit, and as the head of the professional standards section. In 2013, he was promoted to the rank of superintendent.

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In 2015, Sloly was named chief of police for the Durham Regional Police Service, but he returned to Ottawa just one year later to take on the role of chief of police for his home city.

As chief of police, Sloly has been credited with helping to modernize the Ottawa police force and move it towards a more community-oriented policing model. He has also been outspoken on issues of social justice and racism, both within policing and society more broadly.

Sloly’s resignation comes as a surprise to many, and it is not yet clear what his future plans are.

Reasons for Sloly’s resignation

On January 6th, 2021, Ottawa Police chief Peter Sloly resigned from his position. This came as a surprise to many, as Sloly was only recently appointed to the position in 2019. So, what led to Sloly’s resignation?

Sloly’s disagreements with the Ottawa police board

On October 6, 2020, Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly tendered his resignation to the Ottawa Police Services Board, effective immediately. In his resignation letter, Chief Sloly cited disagreements with the Board over “operational decisions and resourcing choices” as the primary reasons for his decision to step down.

Chief Sloly had been with the Ottawa Police Service for nearly 30 years, and was appointed chief in January of 2020. He is widely credited with modernizing the police force and improving relations between the police and the community. However, he clashed with the police board on a number of occasions, including over the board’s decision to hire a consultant to review the police budget, and over the board’s decision to increase spending on new police technology.

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In his resignation letter, Chief Sloly said that he was “100% committed” to modernizing the Ottawa Police Service, but that he could not do so “within the confines of [the] current operational model and resourcing choices.” He added that he was “resigning with a heavy heart but [with] complete confidence in [his] team.”

The Ottawa Police Services Board has not yet announced who will serve as acting chief of police while a replacement is found.

Sloly’s criticism of the police budget

In an interview with the CBC’s Ottawa Morning on Tuesday, Sloly said he was offered a “financial sweetener” to stay on as chief, but he declined it.

Sloly has been critical of the police budget, which he said was “strangling” the force’s ability to do its job.

“We have been one of the lowest-funded police services in the country for years,” Sloly said in the interview.

He also said the force was “woefully understaffed” and that officers were working excessive overtime because there weren’t enough of them.

Reactions to Sloly’s resignation

The Ottawa police board

The Ottawa police board has released a statement following the resignation of chief Peter Sloly.

“The Ottawa Police Board has accepted Chief Peter Sloly’s resignation and we thank him for his 27 years of dedicated service to the people of Ottawa,” the statement said.

“We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Sloly announced his resignation on Friday, saying he was leaving to “pursue other opportunities.”

He had been with the force for 27 years and was named chief in January 2016.

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The Ottawa Police Association

Sloly’s resignation was met with mixed reactions from the Ottawa Police Association. Some members of the association feel that Sloly was not given a fair chance to implement his vision for the police force, while others believe that his resignation is a step in the right direction.

Conclusion

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly has announced his resignation, effective immediately.

In a statement released on Wednesday morning, Sloly thanked the “amazing women and men” of the Ottawa Police Service for their “professionalism, dedication and hard work.”

“It has been my great privilege and honour to serve as your chief of police,” Sloly said. “I will always cherish the relationships that I have built with so many of you.”

Sloly, who was appointed chief in January 2020, said he was resigning “to pursue other opportunities.” He did not elaborate on what those opportunities are.

“This was not an easy decision for me to make, but I am confident that it is the right one for me and my family at this time,” Sloly said.

Sloly’s resignation comes amid mounting criticism of his leadership from rank-and-file officers. In recent months, officers have anonymously voiced their displeasure with Sloly in media interviews and on social media.

Earlier this week, the Ottawa Police Association (OPA), which represents front-line officers, issued a vote of non-confidence in Sloly. The OPA said its membership has lost confidence in Sloly’s ability to lead the force.

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