Insp. Karuna Padiachi took over reins in 2019
BY LAURIE WEIR
The time has come for Insp. Karuna Padiachi to hang up his shield after 30 years in policing.
The Lanark County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachment commander released a statement on Friday, Feb. 2 that Feb. 9 would be his final day before retirement.
In an email, Padiachi stated that it has been a rewarding career.
“I have always said that having worked in several areas across the province, Lanark County has been my favourite,” he wrote. “The collaborative work by all community agencies, partners and Police Service Boards within this county are second to none. As a result of these combined efforts, Lanark County OPP is renowned for our Victim Advocate Program, our Mobile Crisis Response Team, our Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, amongst other initiatives, at the OPP provincial and regional level.”
Brianne Luckasavitch is the Victim Advocate and Public Education Coordinator at Lanark County Interval House and Community Support.
“It has been a pleasure working alongside the Lanark County OPP, with Inspector Padiachi at the lead,” she said. “His dedication to keeping survivor voices heard has made a positive, long-lasting impact in our community and we are truly grateful.”
To Padiachi, Luckasavitch said, “On behalf of the women and children we serve, the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers of Lanark County Interval House and Community Support, we thank you, Karuna, for your commitment to our partnership. Congratulations on your retirement. You will be missed.”
Stephanie Gray is the coordinator for the Lanark County Situation Table and Community Safety and Well-being.
She said Padiachi has made important contributions to the many programs offered in Lanark County that support victims and amplify the voices of marginalized populations.
“His willingness to have Lanark OPP as a strong partner in these initiatives, including the Lanark County Situation Table and the Community Safety and Well-being Plan, has been an important part of the collaborative work that Lanark County is known for,” Gray said.
“Thank you for your hard work and congratulations on your retirement.”
Padiachi replaced now Supt. Derek Needham, Director – Office of Professionalism, Respect, Inclusion and Leadership (OPRIL), in the fall of 2019 when Needham left Lanark County for a new position within the OPP.
“Karuna brought passion to his role,” Needham told this publication. “As he had been a part of the design and start of collaborative approaches to help the most vulnerable members of our community, he was able to champion and improve both existing and new programs. Karuna’s dedication was a model for other officers. He leaves behind a legacy of helping others, particularly those who need help the most.”
In a follow-up phone interview with Padiachi, he thanked everyone who made him feel welcome when he arrived in Lanark County five years ago, “and for working alongside me over the course of the past few years – the partnerships and the friendships that I will miss most … it has been enjoyable. Together, we accomplished a lot of things.”
He said he’s most proud of his detachment members, and the work and effort they put into making the communities in Lanark County a safe place.
“They continue to do that,” he said. “I think we have a very good detachment. Our officers in Lanark County are excellent. It has nothing to do with me – it’s all their contributions.”
The next chapter for Padiachi includes volunteering more and getting to those projects that have accumulated at his cottage, “all those ongoing never-ending projects that I enjoy doing.”
Karuna said. “I’m looking forward to getting to do a bit more of the things that I wanted to do.”
He’s confident that the detachment in Lanark County will be in good hands.
“Our OPP members at the detachment have and will continue to provide the best services to our communities and I can assure you that (the Lanark County detachment) is considered one of the best detachments within the East Region,” Padiachi said.
Padiachi became a member of the OPP in 1994, initially stationed in Iroquois Falls. Subsequently, he served in Perth County Detachment in West Region, then as a computer forensic examiner in the Investigation and Support Bureau in Orillia. He then transferred to Kemptville Detachment as a sergeant.
Padiachi came to Lanark County as a staff sergeant in 2014 for a year before being seconded to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from 2016 to 2019 where he contributed to the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team in Ottawa, showcasing his versatility and dedication.
Padiachi returned to the Lanark County Detachment as its commander in 2019.
The Interim Detachment Commander for Lanark will be A/Insp Kerlous (Kerly) Tawdrous.
“Most, if not everyone, will know Kerly, as he has been the Staff Sergeant at Lanark for the past few years,” Padiachi said.
“For those that do not know him, Kerly brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new role as the Interim D/C. Additionally, Kerly is fully versed and knowledgeable about the various programs, police service boards and community partners throughout the county and as such, I have full confidence that your detachment will continue to build on the community-oriented foundation that my predecessors built.”