Alok Mukherjee (born circa 1945) is a Canadian academic, human rights advocate, and public servant. He served as chair of the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) from 2005 until his July 2015 retirement. He is currently appointed "distinguished visiting professor" at Ryerson University. On March 24, 2018 Mukherjee, co-authored with Tim Harper, published Excessive Force, a book about the present and future of policing in Canada. On September 8th 2019 he was selected as the NDP candidate for the riding Toronto - St. Paul's in the 2019 Canadian federal election.
Mukherjee in 2007
|Born||1945 (age 73–74)|
|Occupation||Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ryerson University|
Toronto Police Services Board Chair (retired)
In 1971, Mukherjee emigrated to Canada from India intending to pursue an academic career. He was sidetracked from this goal for several years when he assumed a position as a School Community Relations Worker with the (then) Toronto Board of Education, from which he went on to become the Toronto Board's Race Relations Advisor with a determined focus on helping to build an educational system that was grounded in ensuring outcomes of Equity, Human Rights and Anti-Racism for all staff and students.
Following his stint at the Toronto Board of Education, Mukherjee returned to the academic arena when he became an instructor in South Asian Studies at York University — and where, in 2004, he received a PhD. During this period, he designed and taught some courses in South Asian cultures, languages and literature as well as in Native Canadian literature. In addition, he published two books – Towards an Aesthetic of Dalit Literature, which is a translation of a work on the literature of India's untouchable writers by one of the foremost untouchable writers, Sharankumar Limbale, and This Gift of English which proposes a new analysis of the rise of English education in India as a convergence of British and Indian ruling class interests. He also served as an advisor to Mayor David Miller.
Over these many years since his arrival in 1971, Alok Mukherjee has built a sound professional reputation as a human rights and equity advocate, community organizer and race relations consultant in Toronto, across Canada and internationally. He has been a partner with the consulting firm, Partners in Equality and was a member of the Doris Marshall Institute for Education and Action.
Among his other public service appointments, Mukherjee has been the Acting Chief Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. He has also been a member of the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services and has served on the Board of Governors of Centennial College.
Police Services Board
Mukherjee was originally appointed by City Council to the Toronto Police Services Board for a term effective September 28, 2004 to November 30, 2006. In 2004, he became Vice-Chair of the Board and in 2005 became Chair, succeeding Pam McConnell. After his original appointment, he was reappointed for the following term February 8, 2007 to April 13, 2010. Subsequently, he was appointed by the Province for the next three (3) year term and on its completion, he was re-appointed for another three-year term effective April 14, 2013.
With this record of service, Mukherjee has become the second longest-serving board chair of this institution. Only Charles O. Bick, the first chairman of what was then called the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission, had served for a longer period of time with a tenure of twenty-two (22) years. On January 21, 2015, Mukherjee was re-elected as board chair by a 6 to 1 margin, to a tenth one-year term. In January 2015 Mukherjee indicated he did not intend to seek further re-appointment to the board, and at the June 18, 2015 monthly public meeting, he announced his retirement from the board, effective July 31, 2015, in order to accept an appointment at Ryerson University.
At the federal level, Mukherjee currently serves as President of the Canadian Association of Police Boards (CAPB). This national organization of police boards/commissions represents civilian oversight of municipal policing across Canada. Its members are involved in validating trends for most of Canadian policing directions. Its work focuses on research on—and the airing of—issues related to public safety that should be of concern to all Canadians. To this end, CAPB works with representatives of the federal government, Members of Parliament and other stakeholders that value the safeguarding human rights and public safety.
Mukherjee co-authored Excessive Force: Toronto's Fight to Reform City Policing with Tim Harper. It was published March 24, 2018 through Douglas & McIntyre. It is about the present and future policing in Canada. Mukherjee recounts his time as the chair of the TPSB and reveals how the Toronto Police Service acted internally during controversial events & practices such as the 2010 G20, the death of Sammy Yatim, and "carding". In an excerpt from the book Mukherjee reveals the policing during the G20, "left a permanent emotional scar."
- Alok., Mukherjee, (2018). Excessive Force : Toronto's Fight to Reform City Policing. Douglas and McIntyre (2013) Ltd. ISBN 9781771621830. OCLC 1027029570.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- "Mukherjee resigns as chair of Toronto Police Services Board". CP24. June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
- "Alok Mukherjee stepping down as police board chair". Toronto Star. June 18, 2015. Archived from the original on September 3, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
- "Alok Mukherjee Appointed Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University". Archived from the original on September 3, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
- "Excessive Force - Douglas & McIntyre". www.douglas-mcintyre.com. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
- "The greatest trial of Alok Mukherjee". The Globe and Mail. July 16, 2010. Archived from the original on June 21, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
- "The cops' boss strikes a fine balance". UrbanToronto.ca. The Globe and Mail. December 8, 2007. Archived from the original on June 21, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
- "Adviser to Miller gets police board seat" by Katherine Harding, Globe and Mail, September 29, 2004
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2009-07-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Police chair takes the helm" by Vanessa Lu, Toronto Star, October 15, 2005
- "Controversial police chairman Alok Mukherjee to keep job for final year of his contract". National Post. January 21, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- "Alok Mukherjee re-elected to Toronto Police Services Board". CBC News. January 21, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- "Controversial chair of Toronto police board reappointed". Globe and Mail. January 21, 2015. Archived from the original on September 3, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- "G20 policing fiasco 'left a permanent emotional scar,' former police chair writes in new book | Toronto Star". thestar.com. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
2004 – 2005
| Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board
2005 – July 2015
2015 – present