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BACKGROUNDER: Police officers who’ve gone on to political careers
Jan. 13, 2015

CityNews has learned that the federal Liberals are wooing Toronto police chief Bill Blair for the upcoming election.

In July 2014, the Toronto Police Services Board announced it would not extend Blair’s contract when it expires on April 25, 2015.

Blair, 60, has been chief since April 2005, and has been a police officer for 39 years.

In an interview with CityNews in December, he said he doesn’t plan on taking a break from working from his term ends in April, but did not elaborate on what he plans to do.

Blair, who is the son of a police officer, joined the force in the 1970s while he was a student at the University of Toronto and received a criminology-economics degree.

He was sworn in as Julian Fantino’s replacement in April 2005, becoming the youngest chief of the Toronto Police Service. Click here to read his full biography.

Blair would not be the only police officer to make the leap into politics. Below are some other notable names.

Julian Fantino
Vaughan MP Julian Fantino has spent almost 40 years in law enforcement. He was the commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police and also served as chiefs of the Toronto Police Service and the York Regional Police.

Fantino, 72, was first elected to the House of Commons in 2010 after winning a byelection and was re-elected in the 2011 election. He was appointed associate minister of National Defence in January, a post he previously held, after being replaced as Veterans Affairs minister.

Fantino has come under heavy criticism for office closures, job cuts, lapsed budget money and tweaks to veterans pensions and benefits.

Larry Campbell
Sen. Larry Campbell, 66, a former steelworker, was a police officer with the Mounties and later joined the unit’s drug squad in the early 1970s.

He later became the chief coroner for British Columbia in 1996, and was apparently the inspiration behind the Canadian television drama Da Vinci’s Inquest.

Campbell made the transition into politics in 2002 after being elected Vancouver’s mayor. He was appointed to the Senate in August 2005 by former prime minister Paul Martin.

Kevin Vickers
Kevin Vickers spent 29 years with the RCMP before joining the House of Commons security staff in 2005 and becoming sergeant-at-arms in 2006.

As a Mountie, he provided security services for dignitaries and members of the Royal Family, including the Queen and Prince Andrew. Vickers also served as a chief superintendent in the RCMP.

Vickers was hailed as a hero after killing an armed man who stormed into Centre Block on Parliament Hill in October after he fatally shot a soldier at the National War Memorial.

Vickers, 58, was appointed Canadian ambassador to Ireland by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in January.