Friday, May 7, 1999

John Saunders

p. A1.

Police Chief Boothby to step down

David Boothby, a former star homicide investigator who faced a police-station mutiny even before he took formal command of Toronto's police force, surprised his colleagues last night by announcing that he will step down while still in his mid-50's.

"This will be my last year as chief of police, as I will be retiring in early 2000," Chief Boothby told a crime stoppers dinner at which he was guest of honour.

He will not seek an extension of his five-year contract, which ends in February, he said.

He gave no specific reason for his decision. "I just feel it's time for me to leave and perhaps do some other things, and more importantly, I guess, to enjoy my family."

Chief Boothby, one of the country's top murder investigators before he became a deputy chief in charge of all specialized detectives squads, was chosen over dozens of candidates in 1994 to replace former chief William McCormack.

Toronto police chief decides to depart early from top job

While he was waiting for the changeover, officials at 51 Division in Toronto's east end staged a wild-cat strike, locking the station house for hours and returning to duty only after meeting with Chief Boothby and other officials.

Like most chiefs, he has had his share of problems, including conflicts with police union leader Craig Bromell, a 51 Division veteran.

Last year, the force was touched by scandal when the head of its firearms unit pleaded guilty to illegally selling guns seized by police.

He also sold personal weapons provided to him by senior police officials, although Chief Boothby was not among them.

Chief Boothby said last night: "I'm going out on a high, leaving a fabulous organization. I'm going to miss it."

He joined the police force in the 1960s, having come from a farm north of Toronto. "I was a farm boy from Keswick. In 1964, I started on the beat. So, to ever end up as chief of police was way beyond my wildest dreams, believe me," he said.

Toronto Police clippings… [Fiona Stewart]

Created: October 8, 2000
Last modified: October 8, 2000
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