Police board chair to leave London, Ont., for U.S. in the fall

Dr. Javeed Sukhera, chair of the London Police Services Board in Ontario, says he'll be taking a new position in Connecticut in the fall.

Dr. Javeed Sukhera has worked throughout the pandemic, Black Lives Matter movement

Dr. Javeed Sukhera, chair of the police board in London, Ont., will continue in the position until he moves to Connecticut this fall. (Colin Butler/CBC)

The chair of the London Police Services Board will be leaving southwestern Ontario in the fall to work in the U.S.

Dr. Javeed Sukhera, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at London Health Sciences Centre, joined the civilian-run board in 2018 and was appointed chair in 2020. 

Sukhera announced on social media Thursday he's moving to Connecticut to serve as chair of psychiatry at Hartford Hospital. 

"It's not so much a decision to leave a place," Sukhera told CBC News. "This happened more as an opportunity to advance, and move and grow toward another place, and contribute to another community." 

Sukhera will continue to serve as board chair until he moves.

His work has included sexual assault investigation and policy revision. 

He's been chair throughout the coronavirus pandemic, as well as during public outcry to revert police funding into community support programs.

"It's catalyzed an opportunity to work even harder and to do even more when it comes to issues of anti-racism, particularly anti-Black, Indigenous racism, as well as issues related to mental health and growing demand for police to assist in that regard because of the underfunding of mental health in our community," said Sukhera.

Search on for replacement

Susan Toth, vice-chair of the board, said it will determine who will step into Sukhera's role. 

She said Sukhera's leadership has left a lasting impact on London. 

"I think we really need to understand the deep impact it has when a diverse voice has the opportunity to be heard," she said.

"His background as a psychiatrist has been incredibly helpful; not just on the police services board, but I know that he is somebody that will always speak truth to power. It's just such a privilege that I've been able to watch him over the last few years as he did that."