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New deputy chief has soared up the ranks

His supporters — and there are a lot of them — say he is destined to bethe city’s first police chief of colour. His detractors — and yes, hehas a number — criticize his rapid ascension through the ranks.

His supporters — and there are a lot of them — say he is destined to be the city’s first police chief of colour. His detractors — and yes, he has a number — criticize his rapid ascension through the ranks.

Love him or resent him, Peter Sloly is a rising star in the Toronto Police Service.

This week, with only 21 years on the force, Sloly will assume the rank of deputy chief, just one rung below Chief Bill Blair. At 43 years old, he is believed to be the youngest officer in the country to achieve such heights — an accomplishment that is both remarkable and a liability, said one high-ranking official.

“The traditional culture of policing is you come in and do your time. Now here’s a young man, in his early 40s, who has become youngest deputy ever. It’s a rank more typical of someone who has been around 30-35 years.”

Sloly won the spot over five internal candidates. Police board chair Alok Mukherjee said the promotion is consistent with an ongoing shift within the force, where talented young officers are moving quickly up the ladder.

When asked about the critics, Sloly answers with a little humour, then a thoughtful observation — an approach you might expect from his boss and mentor, Chief Blair.

“Well, for one, I think I’m only a couple of years younger than the most powerful man in the free world,” Sloly said from his office in police headquarters recently. “If you’re required to be in a place for a certain amount of time, I guess I don’t hit that benchmark. If it’s about experiences, and adding value to help build the police service into the best it can be, then I think I hit that benchmark.”

 
 
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