Roles and Responsibilities of the Chief of Police

Photo of Chief Stephen Tanner Chief Stephen J. Tanner reports to the Halton Police Board, and in his role as Chief, he is responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient operation of all components of the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS).

In addition to leading the HRPS, Chief Tanner is also a police officer, and holds all responsibilities and rights afforded that role. As Chief of Police, his duties are legislated in Sections 41 and 42 of the Police Services Act, including:

  • Overseeing all police operations and administration of the Service, in accordance with the objectives, priorities and policies established by the Halton Police Board;
  • Ensuring all officers and civilian members carry out their duties in accordance with the Police Services Act, in a manner that reflects the needs of the community;
  • Maintaining discipline within the Service and administering the Service's complaints system; and
  • Exercising the proper authority in disclosing personal information in order to protect the public and victims of crime, enforce the law, and administer justice in accordance with the relevant privacy laws.


Chief Tanner was born in Oakville, Ontario, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Guelph before entering the policing profession as a member of the Halton Regional Police Service in 1982.

As a member of the HRPS, he has worked in a variety of areas, including uniformed patrol, criminal investigations, tactical rescue, training, intelligence, and major crime. He also served as the Chair of the Halton Regional Police Association. During his tenure, he was actively involved with the Police Association of Ontario.

In 1998, he accepted the position of Deputy Chief of Operations with the Guelph Police Service, a position he held until relocating to Belleville as the Deputy Chief in 2000.

In 2001, he achieved a Master of Public Administration degree at the University of Western Ontario.

In 2002, he was chosen as Belleville's Chief of Police. At that time, at the age of 41, he was one of the youngest Chiefs of Police in Canada. In 2008, he became the Chief of Kingston Police, a position he held for over three years.

In January 2012, he was appointed by the Governor General of Canada as an Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.

In June 2012, he returned home to Halton region and was named Chief of the HRPS.

January 2022 marked two special milestones for Chief Tanner – his 40th year as a police officer, and with 20 years as a Chief of Police, he is now the longest active serving Chief of Police in Canada.

Chief Tanner has been actively involved with a variety of organizations, boards and sports teams over the years. He has served as the President of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, currently serves as Chair of the Criminal Intelligence Service of Ontario and is Co-chair of the National Police Services National Advisory Committee.

Chief Tanner's heart lies with Halton and he is grateful for the opportunity to serve the diverse and vibrant residents of this great community. He works closely with our diverse community and prioritizes equity, diversity and inclusion along with the need to combat and eliminate racism and discrimination in our community and in our society.