Command Officers' biographies
Chief of Police
Chief Mark Saunders is in his 32nd year with the Toronto Police Service. Throughout his career, Chief Saunders has had an extensive investigative background within the portfolios of: Professional Standards, Urban Street Gang Unit, Intelligence Division, Drug Squad, Community Safety Command, Specialized Operations Command, Emergency Task Force and served as the Unit Commander of the largest Homicide Squad in Canada.
Chief Saunders is the Toronto Police Service’s Executive Sponsor of the Toronto Pan Am/Parapan American Games. The Toronto Pan Am/Parapan American Games are recognized as the third largest in the world after the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. His responsibilities entail both safety and security of the athletes, spectators, venues and the citizens of Toronto, during the hosting of the 2015 Games.
Chief Saunders takes an active leadership role representing the Toronto Police Service on numerous committees and partnerships that address diversity and community safety issues on local, Provincial, National and global levels. Chief Saunders currently is the Co-Chair of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police - Organized Crime Committee and participates as a mentor for the Black Community Consultative Committee.
Recognizing current trends in technology, Chief Saunders created an investigative cybercrime Unit called “C3”. This investigative Unit is housed within Specialized Operations Command – Detective Operations and was developed in order to maximize the use of technology in policing. Combatting these current trends and issues has been recognized by Chief Saunders as a way to improve the type of policing vehicle used to not only solve and prevent cybercrimes but to foster and improve communication with all communities that he serves.
His passion for policing and his personal commitment to provide fair, impartial, bias-free policing services to all, Chief Saunders was chosen by former Chief William Blair to be a contributing author on the, “Police and Community Engagement Review”, now known as the PACER Report.
Chief Saunders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Justice Studies from Guelph Humber University. Chief Saunders was selected as a Canadian representative from Canadian Associations of Chiefs of Police to participate and completed the Leadership in Counter Terrorism Course (LinCT) which included studies in Scotland and Ireland, specializing in counter-terrorism with the supporting themes of leadership and intelligence.
Chief Saunders is deeply committed to excellence in policing and service to the community, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for Outstanding Community Contributions and the Black Canadians Award for Public Service.
Chief Saunders lives in Toronto, where he is proudly raising his family. Chief Saunders is an accomplished photographer and often donates his work to charitable organizations.