Nish Duraiappah appointed Police Chief in Peel Region, Canada

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Mainstream print media in Toronto including News Agencies and television broadcasting stations were quick to break the story that Halton Region police deputy chief Nish Duraiappah has been named Chief of Police of the Peel Region. Duraiappah, who has been a member of the force for 25 years, will take over from interim chief Chris McCord in October.

Peel Region is in Southern Ontario and consists of three municipalities to the west and northwest of Toronto: the cities of Brampton, Mississauga, and the town of Caledon. According to the 2016 Canadian Census, the total population in the Peel Region came in at 1.382 million.

“Deputy Chief Nish Duraiappah has been a valuable member of the team responsible for our success here in Halton. His day-to-day approach and the many initiatives that have flourished under his leadership have had a positive and valued impact on members, as well as the community. He has also been a key leader in public safety throughout Ontario and Canada. We sincerely wish him all the very best in his new role next door in Peel region,” Halton Region Police Service (HRPS) board chair Rob Burton said in a press release.

As we now know, the story goes that Peel Region has hired a top cop as its new chief of police. In the process, history was also made.

When Nishan “Nish” Duraiappah is sworn in October 1, he will become the first South Asian police chief in Ontario’s history, as well as the first ever officer of Sri Lankan background to serve in the top cop role in North America. While his ancestry is a side story to his incredible policing career, the promotion is historic and a great Canadian success story for a kid who came to Canada as a child from Sri Lanka and grew up in Toronto, dreaming of becoming a police officer.

Deputy Chief Nishan (Nish) Duraiappah was introduced to the Halton Regional Police Service as a high school student in its inaugural Police Ethnic and Cultural Education Program (P.E.A.C.E.), in 1991. The experience inspired him to pursue a career in policing, and he was sworn in as a constable assigned to uniform patrol in Halton Hills in 1994.

Since then, Deputy Chief Duraiappah has amassed considerable operational expertise as a member of the Regional Drug & Morality Bureau, Guns & Gangs Unit, District Criminal Investigations, and with the RCMP Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. He has also served as Operations Commander for Milton and Halton Hills, the Commander of the Office of Continuous Improvement and Strategic Management (OCISM), and the Superintendent in charge of the Chief’s Executive Office.

Duraiappah was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief in October 2015 and now leads District Operations for all four municipalities as well as the Regional Community Mobilization Bureau, Information Technology and OCISM.

Impeccable credentials

Throughout the course of his career, Deputy Chief Duraiappah has remained committed to proactive, innovative policing, and to maintaining strong relationships with the Region’s diverse, cultural and faith communities. He is also involved with several sports and hobbies and is a volunteer board member for the Milton United Way, and a South Asian Autism Awareness Centre in the Greater Toronto Area.

Deputy Chief Duraiappah holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Criminology from the University of Toronto, and a Diploma of Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario. A veteran of 25 years, known as Nish, has been a deputy chief in Halton since 2015 and was in every conversation about potential chiefs around Canada.

“Deputy Chief Duraiappah represents the next generation of leadership for the police service,” said Nando Iannicca, chair of the Peel Police Services Board.“He is a police officer who has worked in every role possible. His credentials are impeccable. And he is highly respected among those who work with him or have served with him.

“I am extremely proud of Nish,” said Halton Chief Steve Tanner. This same sentiment was expressed by the mayors of Brampton and Mississauga who are excited with the new appointment. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said she is “thrilled” by the news.

“Nish brings a wealth of experience that will help modernize Peel Regional Police and ensure that Mississauga remains one of the safest cities in Canada,” she said.




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