Insp. Kerlous Tawdrous is new Lanark County OPP detachment commander

Insp. Kerlous Tawdrous
Insp. Kerlous Tawdrous has been promoted to detachment commander of the Lanark County OPP. He’s pictured at the detachment in Perth on May 15, 2024, after taking over the reins from Insp. Karuna Padiachi, who retired earlier this year. Photo credit: Laurie Weir.
Posted on: May 15, 2024


Lanark County Ontario Provincial Police has a new commander. 

Inspector/Detachment Commander Kerlous Tawdrous has taken over the reins from outgoing (retired) Insp. Karuna Padiachi.

(Ret.) Insp. Karuna Padiachi
(Ret.) Insp. Karuna Padiachi was the previous detachment commander in Lanark County, at the Perth detachment, after nearly five years. Photo credit: OPP.

In April, Tawdrous made it official with a message to his team.

“I am humbled and thankful for the opportunity to be the new Detachment Commander in Lanark,” he wrote. “I want to thank the Police Service Board members for their commitment to their communities and trust in my leadership. I look forward to continuing the strong collaboration with our community partners and (partners) to coordinate on community safety and wellbeing. I am fortunate to have excellent officers and civilians at this Detachment who care about the communities they serve.”

In an interview a few weeks later after settling into the role, Tawdrous was available for an interview. 

When asked what his inspiration was to be a police officer, he said he always wanted to be one. 

“For me, the chance to be able to serve and make a positive difference in (the) community is rewarding,” he said. 

Tawdrous has worked in various roles. He was in the Crime Unit as a detective in Grenville Detachment, worked at the Provincial Communications Center in Smiths Falls as a sergeant, and transferred to Lanark to work as a front-line supervisor in 2021. For the past three years, he has been the Lanark County OPP staff sergeant and was recently promoted to detachment commander. 

When asked about his leadership style, Tawdrous said, “I think that leadership needs to be flexible. I would hope that I am seen as an empathetic leader who cares about our community and our members. I believe in the importance of collaboration, but there are also times when you need to be authoritative. At the end of the day, if you follow the Golden Rule and treat everyone as you would like to be treated, you are creating a welcoming atmosphere.”

What does he see as the most pressing challenges in law enforcement in Lanark County? 

“We have seen an increase in mental health and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) incidents in Lanark County,” he said. “In response, and to ensure we support individuals experiencing a crisis, we have introduced a Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) made up of officers and workers from Lanark County Mental Health. The officer is paired with a nurse or social worker and are able to attend and provide community resources to those who are dealing with a crisis.”

Lanark County OPP has also implemented an Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) officer at the detachment and has provided frontline officers with more training on IPV incidents.  

“Victim support remains a priority; working in collaboration with community partners including the Victim Advocate (Lanark County Interval House and Community Support), Lanark County Victim Services, VWAP (Victim Witness Assistance Program) and Lanark Crown attorney office to provide wrap-around victim support,” he explained. 

Building trust in the community is also important. 

“In 2023 we created a Detachment Community Liaison Committee (DCLC) that is made up of various members of the community and police officers,” Tawdrous said. “We work with those community members to gain different perspectives. They also provide valuable input that helps ensure we are meeting communities’ needs.  I also believe it is important that we continue to build trust through community engagement.”

When asked how he plans to prioritize community policing initiatives to serve the diverse needs of Lanark County residents, he said they have a Data Analytics unit in Lanark County that provides valuable information that helps them make decisions on setting priorities and the allocation of resources.  

“We also have engaged Police Service Board members who care about their communities and ensure our priorities are in line with the needs of the community,” he said. 

What role does the new commander envision technology playing in enhancing the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts within the detachment? 

Tawdrous said all front-line officers are equipped with Body Worn Cameras (BWC) and cruisers have In-Car Cameras (ICC). 

“This new technology helps to ensure that we are providing the best evidence in court,” he said. “It has also played a crucial role in ensuring transparency in terms of police response and interactions.”

When it comes to mental health inside the detachment, and how he will address it, the commander said policing can be a difficult job. 

“There are days when our officers are exposed to traumatic events. We need to destigmatize mental health, so that officers are encouraged to get help and support when required. The OPP has a Healthy Workplace Team (HWT) that can provide a wide range of health and wellness services to our members. As the detachment commander I need to ensure that our people are comfortable to be able to engage with those services,” Tawdrous explained. 

The new commander said integrated response is an important part of community safety. 

“The previous detachment commander, Insp. (Karuna) Padiachi (Ret.), worked hard to ensure that our detachment had strong collaboration with our community partners. I look forward to continuing that legacy and working with those partners for a shared vision on Community Safety and wellbeing. I am very proud of the work that our officers do daily, in collaboration with all the great agencies in Lanark.”

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News