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Mike Boyd wants top job job - but won't say what he believes

WHO'S NEXT? Lame duck Chief David Boothby is outta here. Credit: Xtra files

Deputy Police Chief Mike Boyd – a leading candidate to become Toronto’s new top cop – isn’t talking about his plans to patrol the city’s gay community.



But a police spokesperson says homos shouldn’t feel slighted by the radio silence, because all the internal hopefuls are shy.



“I will say that the deputies – and especially Deputy Boyd – don’t want to get into those areas, that he’s trying to play fair game, and he doesn’t want to be drawn into that,” says Jane Dick of corporate communications.



Xtra contacted Boyd’s office to request an interview earlier this month, but it was Dick who followed up asking what kind of questions might be put to the senior officer.



Told Boyd would be queried on a number of gay policing issues, Dick said the deputy would probably not submit to a Q & A unless all internal candidates were to be interviewed.



“Then, he doesn’t have a problem,” she says. “I don’t want it to take away from him, either, if he doesn’t do the interview. That’s my concern.



“But if we keep it just to him and he doesn’t do it, he doesn’t want negative press.”



Although Xtra then agreed to speak with all internal candidates – such as dark horses Deputy Chief Steve Reesor and superintendents Bill Blair (head of 51 Division) and Ron Taverner, in addition to Boyd – none were willing to talk about gay policing issues.



Outgoing Police Chief David Boothby retires in early 2000 and his heir will be crowned next month.



While the police services board has hired a head-hunter to root out hopefuls, reports indicate that the 47-year-old Boyd is high on the list.



Now of central field command, Boyd has been a member of the Toronto squad for more than 30 years – splitting much of his tenure between the city’s police academy and the homicide unit.



A deputy for more than four years, Boyd found himself embroiled in controversy last summer when it was revealed that recommendations for a public inquiry into the behaviour of a former sexual assault squad commander had been ignored.



The squad commander was facing sexual misconduct allegations and could have been subject to a public inquiry if brass had acted on the advice of the Professional Standards Review Committee.



Rather than face termination, however, the commander was transferred in 1996 and docked a bit of pay after Boyd allegedly appealed directly to Boothby.



The committee has since been disbanded, but Boyd has insisted that “there was no cover up.”



Nonetheless, Boyd is considered to have worked hard on community-based policing initiatives.



Police union boss Craig Bromell, meanwhile, has stated emphatically that the new chief should be hired from within. But like most insiders, Bromell won’t tip his hat.