Deputy Chief Mark Saunders was celebrated at the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA) Black History Month launch on Feb. 9 at the association’s centre.
“As we celebrate this month, it’s important that we highlight those in the community who are succeeding professionally by their hard work and dedication,” said JCA president Audrey Campbell. “They are fantastic role models for our young people to look up to.”
York Regional Police Service Deputy Chief Andre Crawford and Justice Donald McLeod were also recognized at the annual event. Saunders, who made the leap to deputy from acting superintendent and unit commander at 12 Division, heads the Service’s Specialized Operations Command.
“It’s certainly an honour to be recognized by the JCA, which has been a leading advocate for Jamaicans and other disadvantaged groups in the Greater Toronto Area for more than five decades,” said Saunders. “It’s also a privilege for me to be part of an event celebrating the distinguished life of the late Nelson Mandela.”
In addition to honouring Saunders and the other trailblazers, the JCA paid tribute to the former South African president who died last December.
“He was the embodiment of grace, humility, strength and forgiveness,” said Campbell, who presented a signed book of condolences to South African consul Reginold Ncamane. Deputy Chief Peter Sloly and new 31 Division unit commander Superintendent Tony Riviere joined Jamaica’s consul general George Ramocan, Member of Parliament Judy Sgro and Senator Don Meredith at the celebration.