By: Surjit Singh Flora
One of Peel’s top cops is calling it a career after a 33-plus year career. Deputy Chief Ingrid Berkeley-Brown, who worked in various divisions within Peel Regional Police and helped spearhead multiple community initiatives, announced Monday that she would be retiring from the force, effective Apr. 2020.
Berkeley-Brown, who started her career with Peel Police in 1986 as a Constable, went on work in numerous divisions within the force while working up the ranks to become the first Black female deputy chief on a Canadian police force in 2018.
“I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to live out my dream,” said Berkeley-Brown Monday after the news was announced. “It has been an honour and privilege to work with the members of this great organization on behalf of the diverse communities that make up Peel Region.” Noted with regional and international honours for her work, Berkeley-Brown previously served as a Divisional Commander at 21 Division, and as the Officer-In Charge of 21 Division from 2016-2018.
“Peel Regional Police saw my potential,” said Berkley Brown during an event in 2018, speaking to students during a scholarship dinner in Brampton.
Berkeley-Brown, who graduated from Ontario Police College in 1986 as one of only two black women in that year’s class., said that while she had to deal with setbacks over the course of her career, including persevering to apply again after facing rejection in the interview process while being considered for higher positions, it didn’t stop her from pursuing her dreams.
“Setbacks will happen, but they do not have to hold you back,” she said. “It is important for you to always work hard, to frame obstacles as opportunities.” Peel Police Services Board Chair Ron Chatha expressed appreciation and gratitude for Berkeley-Brown’s career and service to the community. “She should be as proud of her career as the Board is for having had the pleasure to work so closely with an officer whose commitment to the community was always her first priority.”