Chief Burrows

Recognizing Our Finest

portrait of Chief Douglas K. Burrows

Douglas K. Burrows was the first Chief of the Peel Regional Police from 1974 to 1988. Chief Burrows had an extensive police career, which spanned approximately 35 years. The first four years were with the Ontario Provincial Police.

1974 to 1988

Many years in criminal investigation and heading Criminal Identification has resulted in Chief Burrows being regarded as an expert in scenes of crime. His passion for solving major crimes is reflected in the excellent record of the force.

Prior to his police career, Chief Burrows was in the Naval Air Service, 30th Carrier Air Group, during the Korean War.

Among his many accomplishments, in 1979 Chief Burrows was instrumental in directing the largest evacuation in North America as a result of the Mississauga train derailment, without loss of life or injury. On behalf of the force, Chief Burrows accepted the Medal of Bravery for the outstanding performance of all members.

He has lectured internationally on disaster procedures. He also successfully directed police operations during many other major incidents, including North America's most dangerous aircraft hijacking. Chief Burrows was actively involved in many committees and organizations, including serving as President of the Michigan-Ontario Identification Association, member of the Advisory Board at Humber College and the Canadian Police College, as well as President of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police. The Chief was also Chair of the Selection and Training Committee and a member of the Operational Research and Multicultural Committees for the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. He was also Vice-Chair of the governing body of Criminal Intelligence Services of Ontario. Chief Burrows has completed several advanced police courses, including two convened by the FBI and two with top marks in Police Management at Northwestern University in Chicago. He was the first Chief of Police in Canada to obtain his Bachelor of Arts degree and graduated with first class honours from the University of Toronto. In keeping with his goal of police professionalism, he subsequently initiated a motivational program of post-secondary education for officers.

During his progressive, visionary career, he instituted many firsts in Canadian police history, including being the first to research and institute psychological testing of police applicants. Indicative of his caring for officers, he provided the best training and equipment and was responsible for the purchase of the first air-conditioned vehicles. Chief Burrows has been the recipient of many awards, including the Canadian Bankers' Association Award for Bravery during Canada's most dangerous gun battle and police chase. He has also received Police Officer of the Month, the Queen's Jubilee Medal, a long service medal for 30 years of distinguished service, the Police Exemplary Service Medal and several civic group awards for outstanding service to the community.