BY: ASHELLY SMITH
At 1 pm on March 27th, families, friends, police officers and well-wishers were present at the Emily V. Kolb Centre for the swearing-in ceremony of Peel Regional Police new deputy chiefs. Deputy Chiefs Marc Andrews and Ingrid Berkeley-Brown are the two new black deputy chiefs of Canada’s third largest police service.
The ceremony started off with Superintendent Dale Mumby as Master of Ceremonies (MC) doing the welcoming message. In a few minutes, guests of honour were escorted in by police cadets. The guests of honour were Chair of Peel Police Services Board Sue Mcfadden, Honorable Justice and Officiate Sandra Martins, Chief of Peel Regional Police, Jennifer Evans, Superintendents Marc Andrews and Ingrid Berkeley-Brown. There is no ceremony without the singing of our national anthem, O Canada which was done by Brooke Pastuch, a Grade 10 student at Mayfield Secondary School. The blessing was done by the Chaplain, Curtis Hinds.
It is important to know that the new deputy chiefs were not appointed for the positions because they were born with silver spoons in their mouths. It was because of intensive work and dedication to their profession that allowed them to be in such a high ranking position. Deputy Chief Ingrid Berkeley-Brown is from Guyana and immigrated to Canada in 1974. She began her policing career in 1986 with the Peel Regional Police as a Constable. She has worked in several areas including Uniform Patrol, Community Services, Race and Ethnic Relations Bureau, Divisional Criminal Investigation Bureau, Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Bureau, Public Affairs, Neighbourhood Policing Unit, Recruiting, Duty Inspectors’ office, Record Services and Divisional Commander at 21 Division. Berkeley-Brown is committed to community development and has been actively involved with many community organizations including the Peel Multicultural Council, the Young Men’s Christian Association(YMCA) Achievers Program, the Congress of Black Women (Mississauga, Brampton and Kitchener-Waterloo chapters) and the United Achievers Club of Brampton. Berkeley-Brown has been the recipient of several awards for her work in the community, including the Congress of Black Women Mississauga and Area Chapter ‘Phenomenal Woman’ Award; the Association of Black Law Enforcement (ABLE) ‘Leadership in Law Enforcement’ Award just to name a few.
Similarly, Deputy Chief Marc Andrews joined Peel Regional Police in 1990 as a Constable at 12 division in Uniform Patrol and was assigned to the Morality Bureau. In 1998, he transferred to the Homicide Bureau, where he received his first promotion to Detective. The Jamaican-born Andrews was the primary investigator on a number of high profiles homicide investigations. In 2003, Andrews was promoted to Staff Sergeant, then in 2011, he was assigned to 21 Division as the Uniform Inspector. Soon, the promotion to a Superintendent position was knocking at his door in May of 2013. So, it is without a doubt that these two deputy chiefs have reached the pinnacle of policing and do not intend to stop blazing a trail for younger police officers to follow.
Sue Mcfadden was one of the two speakers at the ceremony. As the chair of Peel Regional Services, she was a part of the decision-making process of promoting the two deputy chiefs.
“We originally set out to replace one vacant deputy position. The board in collaboration with Chief Evans determined that both Marc and Ingrid stood out for their skills, experience, expertise and their absolute commitment to our community,” said Sue Mcfadden, chair of Peel Regional Police.
She closed her speech by congratulating both Ingrid and Marc on behalf of the Peel Police Services Board. She further commented that the swearing-in ceremony is a special day for the deputy chiefs and they should celebrate it as their families saw them achieve this wonderful accomplishment.
Chief Jennifer Evans was the second speaker at the ceremony. She spoke about both deputy chief’s historic journeys and achievements.
“To Marc’s and Ingrid’s families, I want to thank you for your continued support. I know that throughout their careers you have put up with many absences because of their work commitments and I also know that their new role will add to their workload. They may not think that, but I know that,” said Chief Jennifer Evans during her presentation as she made the audience giggle.
Evans commented that over the course of her career, she noticed the differences in their personalities will serve to complement each other as they move forward in their new leadership roles. She also believed strongly that both deputies will do exceptionally well with their strong leadership skills and extensive experience.
Finally, it was the moment everyone was waiting for. The time for the superintendents to be officially sworn in as deputy chiefs. Honourable Justice and Officiate Sandra Martins had both Ingrid and Marc hold the Bible to take their oaths. Deputy Chief Ingrid Berkeley-Brown was the star of the ceremony. She had received loud applause and cheers from the audience after she was sworn in. It was very evident that her supporters, families and co-workers were thrilled about her accomplishment. Surprisingly, there was a queue to take a picture with her. Was she expecting this splendid response?
“I can honestly say I did not. It was quite overwhelming and welcoming so for me, I really welcome that. It also let me know that there are a lot of people supporting me in my lieu of becoming deputy chief,” said Deputy Chief Ingrid Berkeley-Brown.
During an interview with Deputy Chief Ingrid Berkeley-Brown, she shared her goals of creating a more friendly and transparent society with the police force and citizens with the aim of improving the relationship with both the public and police personnel, ultimately creating trust and confidence within the society. For officers who want to be the next deputy chief in the future, if your mind can conceive it, you can achieve it.
“They too can achieve it but my best advice to them is to work hard, treat people fairly and always remember who have helped you along the way,” commented Deputy Chief Ingrid.
She further added, “Even though you have achieved whatever goal you’re looking for always remember to give back. That could be either giving back to the community or being a mentor to a junior officer.”
Marc Andrews is the officer-in-charge of Operations Support Command. This includes areas such as Court Services, Record Services, the Community Engagement and Inclusion Bureau, Emergency Support and Road Safety Services. During an interview, Marc said he will be focusing on issues such as road safety in his command. He wants to eliminate the high numbers of accidents in Peel as there are more accident reports than homicide. He believes that everyone’s life is valuable and as a result, his aim is to bring those numbers down to zero deaths on the roadways. Moving on to his new role in policing, he was reminiscent of the birth of his two sons.
“The birth of my two children is the most memorable experience in my career,” he said laughing.
He added, “But looking from a policing perspective, the most memorable experience was convicting a multiple murderers Jeffrey Campbell. He was a dangerous offender and he was arrested in 2001 and convicted in 2005.”
Andrews believes that he can bring a different perspective to the executive level as he is passionate about his hometown Brampton. Civilians and stakeholders of the community can expect respect, humility and courage in his jurisdiction.
It is evident that Deputy Chiefs Ingrid Berkeley Brown and Marc Andrews have a clear and strategic plan for their jurisdiction. They are headstrong individuals with a passion to make changes where it’s necessary. Deputy Marc Andrews wanted each police officer to know this:
“I would advise any young officer to be engaged in the community, work hard, commit to lifelong learning and conduct themselves with honour and dignity. By doing those things whatever they deem as success is achievable, not only in terms of promotion but also in life.”