Peter Sloly, Toronto's former deputy police chief, told Metro Morning that he's still "in love" with policing and public service despite his sudden resignation yesterday.
"It's the right time for me," he told host Matt Galloway when asked why he's leaving the force. "Some amazing opportunities have been presented to me. I needed to make that break so I could move forward with my life."
Sloly quit Wednesday after serving on the force for 27 years, telling reporters he was leaving on his own terms and hadn't been told to quit due to his recent criticisms of the police budget and the force's efforts at reform.
Considered one of the more progressive voices among leadership in the force, Sloly was passed over for the position of chief last year when the job went to Mark Saunders.
Sloly admitted this morning that decision was "disappointing" for him but not "devastating."
"I had some dreams. I had some plans. I had some ideas," he said about not getting the job as Toronto's top cop.
"I've had disappointments and I've had devastations in my life. In every one of those case you've just got to figure out what went on and go for it and move on. In every case I did that."
Galloway asked Sloly about a newspaper headline that describes him as "too progressive" for the Toronto Police Service.
Sloly sharply criticized the current state of police operations and budgeting during a public event last month. In response, Saunders said he'd have preferred that Sloly raised those issues with him in private instead of airing his concerns publicly.
Sloly has advocated for sweeping changes to the force, including money-saving efficiencies in how it's staffed. He's also pushed for the use of new technologies to make policing more efficient.
This morning Sloly denied that he was "too progressive" and said TPS should be praised for supporting his career.
"There's no way that a guy like me goes through the ranks in 27 years and arrives at the deputy chief level without a great appreciation within the organization ... for what I had to offer," he said.
"That doesn't mean that I was everybody's cup of tea … but it means this was a service that recognized my talent, promoted it and allowed it to lead for a considerable period of time. I'm proud of my 27 years in the Toronto Police Service."
Sloly said Toronto's police force, like many others in North America, has suffered from a "gradual erosion" of public trust but he said there remains quality, talented people on the force who can reverse this trend.
"We are a great police service and this service will find the way back," he said. "It has the people inside the service to get us back to the top of the heap."
So what's next for Sloly? He didn't offer any specifics but said he's looking to updating his LinkedIn profile and weighing the new opportunities as they come.