An Indo-Canadian Sikh has been unanimously elected as the head of Canada’s Peel Police, the country’s third largest municipal police force. Amrik Singh Ahluwalia was voted as the new chair of Ontario’s Peel Police Services Board after receiving backing from Brampton mayor Linda Jeffrey and Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie.
“My first thoughts are, what a wonderful country we live in,” Ahluwalia said, immediately after Friday’s unanimous vote.
Noting that he arrived in Canada decades ago “with USD 7 in my pocket”, Ahluwalia said he couldn’t have fathomed at the time that one day he would be bestowed with this “honour” and responsibility.
“I am honoured. This is a great responsibility, I take with humility and with a sense of purpose that I want to do my very best,” he said, adding that the board and the force would work to improve things “collaboratively”.
“I will do my best to serve the public and serve the police force...the men and women in the force who day in and day out do such an exemplary job,” Toronto Star quoted Ahluwalia as saying.
Ahluwalia was first appointed by the provincial government to the board in February 2011 and re-appointed for a second term in April 2014.
After Navdeep Singh Bains and Harjit Singh Sajjan, who became the first Sikh cabinet ministers in Canada, Ahluwalia is the third Indo-Canadian to rise in the country’s government affairs.
A business leader with extensive background in manufacturing and petrochemicals, Ahluwalia has organised several youth camps and served as president of Sikh Society, Calgary. He is a volunteer with Seva Food Bank, Mississauga.
The Peel Regional Police is Canada’s third largest municipal police force, responsible for the provision of adequate and effective police services, law enforcement and crime prevention within the region, a duty it discharges through the enactment of policies.
The board is responsible for the police budget, oversees the actions of the chief of police and is the employer for the members of the police service.