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Embattled Peel police chief wants two more years on the job

Peel police chief Jennifer Evans, who has clashed with the board that oversees her as it moves to reform the troubled force, has asked the same people she’s opposed on key issues such as carding for a two-year contract extension.Evans confirmed that she informed the Peel Police Services Board of her desire to stay on, beyond her current five-year contract, which expires later this year.“I continue to be inspired by the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the Peel Regional Police, as well as the community we serve,” Evans wrote in an email to the Star. The force, under Evans’ leadership, has been under fire for a number of controversies that have led to calls for her resignation by some community groups and private citizens.The latest damaging news was April’s Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ruling that the force discriminated against a decorated veteran officer, Staff Sgt. Baljiwan (BJ) Sandhu, on the basis of race when it denied him an opportunity for promotion in 2013. Article Continued BelowThe tribunal found Peel police “generally devalued” police work in Peel’s South Asian community because it is “associated with the South Asian population.” It also found Sandhu had been the subject of racist taunts within the force, with little regard by supervisors who ignored the behaviour.In a news release after the decision, Evans didn’t apologize to Sandhu or the community and didn’t acknowledge the discrimination he faced throughout his career. Instead, she pointed to changes in the force that now emphasize “community policing” rather than front-line operations.The police board in April launched an independent equity and diversity audit to probe the force’s hiring and promotions practices, despite objections from Evans. It’s one of many reform measures the board, led by chair Amrik Ahluwalia, Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie (her term expired in January), has championed in its bid to improve policing.

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