On Tuesday, Nishan (Nish) Duraiappah was officially sworn-in as the new chief of the Peel Regional Police Service at a solemn ceremony attended by dignitaries, officers and civilians.
Earlier Nish had earlier served as a deputy chief with Halton Regional Police.
Duraiappah was named to the post in August and takes the reigns from interim Chief Chris McCord, who will be retiring on Wednesday. McCord was named acting head of the service in January after Jennifer Evans announced her retirement.
During his address, Duraiappah spoke about the need for Peel Regional Police and its members to innovate and collaborate.
“In some cases, we will be called to divest ourselves from some of the things we did in the past, but it’s important to adapt and move forward,” he said.
“There’s always that quote, ‘If we dislike change, we’re going to dislike relevance even more.’ So the point being is to lead, we need a can-do mentality as we move forward. It’s critical to us. That is not just my expectation of each of us in Peel, but it’s also my continued commitment to you.”
Duraiappah spoke about the need for work-life balance and for personnel to be supported when it comes to personal wellness, citing the recent suicides of officers in Toronto, Ottawa and within the OPP.
He also discussed his journey into policing. Duraiappah said he and his family immigrated to Canada from Sri Lanka when he was a young boy. He told the audience he was encouraged to get a job with a professional designation such as an engineer, but it was his high school teacher that encouraged him to consider policing through the Police Ethnic and Cultural Education youth program.
Duraiappah began his career with Halton Regional Police in 1995, working as a constable in uniform patrol, the guns and gangs unit, and with the RCMP combined forces special enforcement unit. He moved on to command posts with Halton Regional Police before ascending to the role of deputy chief. -CINEWS