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Sri Lanka born Nish Duraiappah to head fourth-biggest Police force in Canada.

Sri Lankan born former Halton police deputy chief Nishan “Nish” Duraiappah has been named Chief of Police of the Peel Regional Police, Canada.

Peel Region is the fourth biggest Municipal Police force in the country.

Duraiappah, who has been a member of the force for 25 years, will take over from Chris McCord who was appointed an Interim Chief.

He is from a distinguished Jaffna family and is the grandson of the former Mayor of Jaffna Alfred Duraiappa who was assassinated by the Tamil Tigers.

Following his swearing-in on the 1st of October, Duraiappah will become the first South Asian police chief in the long history of Ontario, as well as the first-ever officer of Sri Lankan descent to have served in the top cop role in North America.

Duraiappah’s policing career is a great success story for an officer who came to Canada as a child from Sri Lanka and grew up in Toronto, looking to become a police officer.

Deputy Chief Duraiappah was introduced to the Halton Regional Police Service as a high school student in its inaugural Police Ethnic and Cultural Education Program back in 1991.

His experience there motivated him to follow a career in policing, subsequently, he was sworn in as a constable assigned to uniform patrol in Halton Hills in 1994.

Nishan Duraiappah promoted to Deputy Chief in 2015 – Photo credits: haltonpolice.ca

Since then, Deputy Chief Duraiappah has amassed considerable operational expertise as a member of the Regional Drug & Morality Bureau, Guns & Gangs Unit, District Criminal Investigations, and with the RCMP Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. 

Duraiappah has also served as Operations Commander for Milton and Halton Hills, the Commander of the Office of Continuous Improvement and Strategic Management (OCISM), and the Superintendent in charge of the Chief’s Executive Office.

Duraiappah was then promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief in October 2015 and he now leads the District Operations for all four municipalities as well as the Regional Community Mobilization Bureau, Information Technology and OCISM. 

Throughout his entire career, Deputy Chief Duraiappah has remained committed to proactive, innovative policing, and to maintaining strong relationships with the Region’s diverse, cultural and faith communities. 

Deputy Chief Duraiappah holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Criminology from the University of Toronto, and a Diploma of Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario.

He is also involved with several sports and hobbies and is a volunteer board member for the Milton United Way, and a South Asian Autism Awareness Center in the Greater Toronto Area. 

“Deputy Chief Nish Duraiappah has been a valuable member of the team responsible for our success here in Halton. He has also been a key leader in public safety throughout Ontario and Canada. We sincerely wish him all the very best in his new role next door in Peel region.”  said the Chairman of the Board for the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) Rob Burton.

Duraiappah’s day-to-day approach and his various new initiatives have flourished and has had a major, positive and a valued impact on members as well as the community, According to Burton.

HRPS Chief Stephen Tanner says Duraiappah has been an “incredible” member and leader within the Halton Regional Police Service throughout his career and has played an instrumental role in building the strong senior leadership team within the HRPS.