Speaker - Peter Sloly
On monthly Thursday October 12th meeting a room packed with Probus members enjoyed a thought-provoking presentation by Peter Sloly. His topic was “Policing and Public Safety”.
Peter is the CEO of Sloly Solutions, a company providing strategic advice to governments and private and public sector organizations.
Peter’s career began as a soccer player where he rose to play professionally and made an appearance with the Canadian national team. In 2011 he received a Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame award for his leadership on and off the field.
Peter has a BA in sociology, an MBA, plus professional development certificates from US and Canadian universities and multiple policing and justice agencies. He served twice with the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo.
Peter joined the Toronto Police in 1988, where he remained for 27 years, rising to Deputy Chief in 2009. He resigned in 2016 to pursue a career in the private sector, then moved to Deloitte Canada to lead their Security and Justice practice.
In late 2019 Peter was recruited to become Chief of the Ottawa Police Service at a time when progressive civic leaders wanted major reforms to the force’s policing practices. The challenges Peter took on were significant. With his career record of commitment to crime prevention, community, and progressive policing Peter seemed a perfect fit for this job. He was also a demonstrated champion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. Peter’s personal motto of "Others before self; Compassion for all" illustrates his values.
Peter shared his major career experiences with our attentive group. His presentation illuminated how big challenges can best be managed by adherence to a coherent plan which enjoys the support of key stakeholders.
In Ottawa, Peter made immediate progress in improving public trust and implementing a city-wide community policing strategy. However, in early 2022 the so-called Freedom Convoy occupied central Ottawa, and that protest quickly escalated to a national security crisis.
Despite the Ottawa police’s success in preventing death, rioting or serious bodily harm, it became evident that significantly more officers were necessary to remove the occupiers from Ottawa’s streets. Eventually the federal government invoked emergency measures as 2200 officers from across Canada began arriving. The occupation ended peacefully, with the one highly visible casualty being Peter Sloly’s job as the Ottawa police chief.
The broad theme emerging from Peter’s remarkable presentation is the value of sticking to one’s guiding principles and courage in the face of adversity. Our speaker’s record illustrates that he demonstrated these qualities through challenges encountered in Toronto, Kosovo and Ottawa; and in so doing he helped to advance a progressive and effective model of policing nationally and internationally.
Peter’s presentation enjoyed rapt attention from our Probus members. He left us with much to think about regarding how best to navigate through the many challenges we encounter in our lives.