Portuguese American Journal

Appointed: Officer Peter Moreira to be Police Chief of Durban – Ontario, Canada

Portuguese Canadian, Peter Moreira, was appointed Police Chief of the Police Force of the Durham region, east of Toronto, in southern Ontario, Canada.

The son of emigrants from São Miguel, he was born in Canada. He is the first Police Chief of Portuguese descent to take the post.

A former superintendent of the Toronto Police, he will take over the post on March 24, replacing Police Chief, Todd Rollauer.

Pereira, who will take the new position as challenge with humility and excitement, said, “I have always resided in this area [Durham], it is a dream coming true to be Police Chief and share my experience and training within these functions.”

Peter Pereira, who received his training at the Ontario Police College in 1993,  completed a Bachelor of Arts degree through the police honors program at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Since 1991, has served as a cadet the Toronto police for more than ten decades. He oversaw various police units in Toronto, including ‘ homicides’ the ‘Integrated Weapons and Gang Task Force’ and the ’51 Division’, and participated in the ‘The Way Forward’ action plan.  

“I am especially committed to working with all Durham police officers to ensure they are proud of their work, knowing that they are providing security to the best community in the province and country,” he said.

As an active member of the local Portuguese community, he served as a volunteer and football coach for about 15 years.

The selection process for the new Police Chief went through a long round of consultations with the community, in which four characteristics were identified: transformative and courageous leadership, emotional intelligence, commitment to positive community involvement and police experience deep and diverse.

Durham Police has more than 1,000 officers and civilians serving a vast region of southern Ontario, with major cities in Ajax, Oshawa and Whitby. According to data from the 2021 Canadian census, the region of Durham had more than 696 thousand inhabitants.

It is estimated that over 485,000 Canadian residents are of Portuguese descent, the majority with roots in the Azores. After Ontario, Quebec is the Canadian province with the highest concentration of citizens of Portuguese heritage.


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