Apr 28 2016
One of Toronto's best-known police leaders is going to the private sector, three months after announcing his retirement and a year after a controversial management shuffle at the police force.
Peter Sloly, 49, started last Monday as an executive director at professional services firm Deloitte Canada. He will advise client companies, in particular, on how to avoid and respond to cyberattacks and on other types of risk and security management.
"Our focus is working with businesses to recognize the new threat environment," he said in an interview.
Mr. Sloly, a police reformer who built relationships with Toronto's minority communities, will also counsel Deloitte and its client companies on diversity.
He was long considered a front-runner to replace former police chief Bill Blair. But last April, the board picked another deputy chief, Mark Saunders, as Mr. Blair's successor. Mr. Sloly was quickly taken off some of his long-time projects and even moved to a smaller office, moves that rankled many officers.
When Mr. Sloly retired in February, he said he had planned to leave and had only stayed for the ensuing months in order to help smooth the transition. Deloitte's top management got in touch soon after, he said.
"I'm feeling rejuvenated, I'm feeling rested [and] energized, and in large part because of the types of opportunities that have come my way," he said.
"I always wanted to have a big career after policing, multiple careers after policing, so this checks a big box for me - an opportunity to work in the private sector for a large, successful company and one where they would leverage my full skill sets, passions and interests."
Cybercrime was something Mr. Sloly saw up close many times on the police force, where he served for 27 years and as deputy chief for more than six.
Those cases ran the gamut "from the schoolyard bullying that went on online, to significant corporate hack attacks that would cost corporations, and in some cases governments, millions of dollars in lost capacity, if not hard losses," he said.
"Some people would suggest there isn't such a thing as cybercrime - it's just the new cyber-reality where every single crime has a cyber, social [media] or digital element to it."
He also helped usher in the first social-media strategy at a major Canadian police force and will be helping Deloitte clients improve their use of social media.
Mr. Sloly has been getting to know his new company's cybersecurity facility in Vaughan, and this week he attended a conference in the field in Washington.
He will often work around the globe in the "incredibly fast-growing" field of cybersecurity, said Ryan Brain, regional managing partner for Deloitte in Toronto.
"The nature of the attacks are getting more sophisticated, so to have someone with Peter's experience and background is something we're very excited about," he said. "The nature of this work truly knows no boundaries."
Mr. Brain and Mr. Sloly had both served on the board of the Toronto YMCA.
"The timing was very sort of serendipitous when he decided to retire from the police force, and given that decision and how hot the market is right now for services such as cybersecurity, we came together very naturally," said Mr. Brain.
Mr. Sloly, a familiar face at many Toronto non-profits and community groups, said he will keep serving on all of them. But he's giving the police force a wide berth except when asked.
"I'm always open and available; in fact I've had the odd phone call from former colleagues and members of the board just seeking a quick opinion from me on issues," he said. "But equally, I'm not reaching out. I want to make sure there's plenty of space for the current folks to do what they think they need to do without any unnecessary distractions."
(Globe and Mail)