Command Officers' biographies
Chief of Police
William Blair was appointed Chief of the Toronto Police Service on April 26, 2005. The Toronto Police Service employs over 5500 police officers and 2200 civilian employees, the largest municipal police service in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The City of Toronto is a vibrant city covering 636 square kilometres with a diverse population of more than 2,600,000 people.
Chief Blair started his 35-plus year policing career as a beat officer in downtown Toronto, and continued with assignments in drug enforcement, organized crime units, and major criminal investigations. Promoted to the senior ranks of the Service, his postings included Divisional Commander, Community Policing Programs, and Detective Operations, responsible for all specialized investigative units including the Homicide Squad, Hold-Up Squad, Sex Crimes Unit, Fraud Squad, Forensic Identifications Services, Intelligence Services, and Organized Crime Enforcement, including the Guns and Gangs Unit, and the Repeat Offender Program.
As Toronto's Chief of Police, he has overseen the development of the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS) to combat violent crime. Rapid response teams are deployed to at-risk neighbourhoods to enhance enforcement and support local policing initiatives while promoting the role of Community Response Units and the 'neighbourhood police officer'.
Chief Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Toronto with dual disciplines of Economics and Criminology (1981), a Certificate in Law Enforcement Administration from the University of Toronto (1983) and a Certificate in Criminal Justice from the University of Virginia (1990). He is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (1990), the Police Leadership Program of the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Business Management (2002) and the National Executive Institute (2006).
Chief Blair lectures at the University of Toronto and at the Rotman School of Management. He has also taught courses at Seneca College on Drug Investigation Techniques, Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management.
As Chief of Canada's largest municipal police service, Chief Blair has taken a leadership role in Provincial, National and International policing realms.
Chief Blair is a member of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) and previously served as President. He is a member of the Criminal Intelligence Service of Ontario (CISO) Governing Body Executive, and a member of the Executive Committee for the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU).
Chief Blair is a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), and has previously served as President. He has previously served as Co-Chair of the CACP Counter-Terrorism and National Security Committee and the Organized Crime Committee. He is a member of the National Coordinating Committee for Organized Crime and a member of the Executive Committee for Criminal Intelligence Service Canada (CISC). He is also a Member At Large on the Board of Directors of the Police Executive Research Foundation (PERF). He has served as Chair of the Public Safety Emergency Preparedness Canada Audit Committee from May 2009 to April 2013.
Chief Blair is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and has served on the Executive Committee and he is also a member of the Major City Chiefs Association (MCC), currently serving as the Second Vice President on the Board of Directors.
Chief Blair is very active in community organizations and is currently serving on the Board of Directors at Covenant House Toronto. He served as Chair of the United Way Public Sector Campaign from 2008 to 2010. He is a member of the Patron's Council for Community Living Toronto, a member of the Honorary Advisory Committee for the Scadding Court Community Centre and an Honorary Member of Scouts Canada. He is Vice-Patron of the Good Neighbours' Club, a Day Centre for older, homeless and unemployed men, Honorary Governor of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires and recipient of the 2011 Beth Sholom Humanitarian Award. In March 2012, he was presented with the Canadian Diversity Leadership Award by the Diversity Business Network.
In recognition of his many contributions to the policing profession Chief Blair was named an Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces in 2007. In May 2012, he was appointed Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces. He is also a member of the Most Venerable Order of St. John and has been awarded the Police Exemplary Service Medal with Thirty Year Bar.
Policing has been a vital part of Chief Blair's family for generations. He has grown up with the history, traditions and culture of the Toronto Police Service and, as a life-long resident of Toronto, is proud and honoured to serve the people of Toronto as their Chief of Police.