Winnipeg’s former top cop to receive honorary degree from Manitoba college

A former Winnipeg police chief turned children’s author is being recognized by a Manitoba post-secondary institution.

Assiniboine Community College announced Tuesday that Devon Clunis, who was Winnipeg’s top cop from 2012 to 2016, will receive an honorary diploma at the Brandon college’s grad ceremony for public safety students.

Clunis, who made history as the first Black police chief in Canada, will receive the honour Friday, in recognition of his personal and professional achievements, and his continued involvement in the community.

Devon Clunis during his time with the Winnipeg Police Service. Assiniboine Community College

“Devon Clunis has had a long and distinguished career centered around community, public safety and social equity,” said college president Mark Frison in a statement.

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“Assiniboine is thrilled to be celebrating him in front of graduates embarking on their careers in Public Safety, as his contributions to Manitoba over the decades serve as a model for what is possible in public safety occupations.”

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After retiring from the police service in 2016, Clunis has remained involved in community safety initiatives, working with local organizations as well as the provincial government.

He also co-authored a pair of children’s books with his wife Pearlene — The Little Boy From Jamaica, based on his own experiences, and The Little Girl From Osoyoos.

“I certainly did not enter policing to receive awards, but it is gratifying to have my efforts recognized and appreciated,” Clunis said Tuesday.

“Thank you, Assiniboine, for this honour. It encourages me to continue working to make social equity a reality.”

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