ORILLIA – During a tradition-filled change of command ceremony today, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) welcomed Thomas Carrique as its 15th Commissioner.
Interim Secretary of Cabinet Steven Davidson, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and OPP Commissioner Emeritus Julian Fantino joined a large contingent of family, friends, police leaders and colleagues to witness (Retired) Commissioner Vince Hawkes pass the OPP Tipstaff to Commissioner Carrique. Created 50 years ago, the passing of the Tipstaff is an important OPP tradition that has rich roots in policing and symbolizes the authority of the Office of the Commissioner.
The ceremony, held at the Ontario Police College in Aylmer, began with both the past and present Commissioners being led into the venue by the Commissioner’s Own Pipes and Drums, the OPP Ceremonial Unit, and an honour guard of OPP recruits currently attending their basic training. The event included an Indigenous greeting, performances by the Cedar Women Singers and the OPP Chorus, and escorts and visual displays by the OPP Golden Helmets precision motorcycle team with the York Regional Police motorcycle officers and The OPP Museum. A memorable highlight was a badge presentation by Commissioner Carrique’s son, Danny – an officer with the South Simcoe Police Service while the blessing was performed by the Right Reverend Bevan Carrique – the Commissioner’s father.
Commissioner Thomas Carrique was appointed through a Lieutenant-Governor’s Order-in-Council, effective April 8, 2019 and reports to the Deputy Solicitor General – Community Safety.
“I consider it an honour and privilege to serve the OPP and the citizens of Ontario – and I will do so – to the best of my ability – and with the best interest of our province and our members at the forefront of all my decisions – and as the foundation for all my actions. I believe our citizens and the dedicated women and men of the OPP deserve nothing less.” – OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique