Harold Adamson, Toronto's police chief from 1970 to 1980, died yesterday of cancer. He was 80.
Mr. Adamson started in 1939 as a $17-a-week cadet in the Scarborough Police Department, which became part of the amalgamated Metropolitan Toronto force in 1957. He was appointed staff inspector in the new force's Scarborough district and rose through the ranks to become deputy chief and then chief.
His tenure was marked by tense relations between Toronto police and minority groups.
In 1979, he apologized for articles in a police-union magazine referring to homosexuals as weirdos and saying that blacks and Jews seldom think about anything but their colour or religion. In the same year, he issued a policy statement warning that disciplinary charges would result against any police officer who showed bias or prejudice in serving the public.
He resisted the idea of having outsiders investigate killings by police, but he asked the Ontario Provincial Police to take over a particularly contentious case involving the death of a black man. Police killings now are investigated by a civilian agency, Ontario's Special Investigations Unit. Staff