An experienced law enforcer of Vietnamese descent has officially become the chief of the London Police Service (LPS) in Ontario, marking the first time in the city’s history that the position will be held by a non-white officer.
An emotional moment: LPS Police Chief Thai Truong, whose parents are Vietnamese, was sworn in by Justice Michael Carnegie and Justice Hugh McConnell during the change of command ceremony at the RBC Place on Monday, June 26.
After being sworn in, the 44-year-old Truong delivered a passionate speech before a few hundred police officers, city council members and community leaders.
A father’s death: The new chief revealed that the date of the ceremony holds deep personal significance for him, as it marks the anniversary of his father’s tragic death in 1990.
“My father was driving home from work late at night,” Truong narrated. “
He had just finished one of his many jobs, and on that night, he was delivering Chinese food. He finished. He was coming home. His car was struck by a pickup truck traveling at a very high rate of speed, and he was killed.”
According to Truong, his father’s death inspired him to pursue becoming a police officer so he could help others.
Leading with kindness: Truong also emphasized the importance of “leading with kindness and compassion,” recognizing that everyone faces their own struggles and challenges.
“We have one life, and life is hard enough,” he added. “For some, life is unimaginable, and we often forget that. We never really know what people are going through.”
He noted that he is looking forward to “strengthening community trust with everybody … not just the groups that are already seen and heard, but those individuals and groups that maybe aren’t seen, aren’t heard. It’s up to us as police leaders to make sure they’re heard and seen.”
How he got the job: Truong officially took over from Acting Chief Trish McIntyre on June 1, becoming the first chief of police hired from outside the London Police Service in 25 years.
The former investigator, who later became commander of all four branches within York Regional Police, assumed his new role following an extensive search process by the police board to find a successor to retiring Chief Steve Williams.
With 22 years of experience in law enforcement, Truong’s career has been marked by notable achievements, including combating human trafficking and working on units dedicated to organized crime, drug enforcement, homicide, and special victims.