In 1986, Sonia Thomas joined the Toronto Police Service after responding to a subway advertisement for officers.
Three decades later, she’s still serving the city she was born and raised in with pride and distinction as the Service’s highest-ranking black female inspector.
She was among 87 members – past and present – who were recipients of 30-year Exemplary Service Medals.
“I can’t tell you what this means to me,” she said, at the awards ceremony on November 8. “When I joined in 1986, I didn’t believe I would still be here in 2017. I am so proud to be able to serve this community for this length of time. It’s an honour.”
Thomas is proud to be member of a diverse police organization.
“If you look around at our various units and Divisions, you will see that, not only at the entry-level ranks but as you move through the organization, there is diversity everywhere,” she pointed out. “We are able to serve a community that’s diverse and we strive to make sure our police service is representative of the community. “
A total of 23 past and present members were presented with 40-year medals.
They include Superintendent Bill Neadles and Staff Sergeant Chuck Konkel.
In 1972, the Order of Canada was expanded, an Order of Military Merit created and National Bravery Decorations were instituted. The next logical step in this expansion was the establishment of Exemplary Service Medals.