Skip to main content

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter