TPAC
Toronto Police Accountability Coalition
 

Bulletins

Toronto Police Accountability Bulletin No. 74, March 25, 2013.



March 25 2013

1. How many police officers does Toronto need?
2. Street checks  a.k.a. carding  continue
3. Quota-driven policing
4. Suspension with and without pay
5. Not notifying the SIU
6. Its a well-paid organization



Toronto Police Accountability Bulletin No. 74, March 25, 2013.

This Bulletin is published by the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition, a group of individuals and organizations in Toronto interested in police policies and procedures, and in making police more accountable to the community they are committed to serving. Our website is http://www.tpac.ca
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In this issue:
1. How many police officers does Toronto need?
2. Street checks  a.k.a. carding  continue
3. Quota-driven policing
4. Suspension with and without pay
5. Not notifying the SIU
6. Its a well-paid organization
7. Subscribe to the Bulletin
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1. How many police officers does Toronto need?

This is a good question, but how should it be answered? Apparently the Police Service has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) for a study on the number of police officers that Toronto needs. We asked to see a copy of the RFP, but were told it could not be made public. We asked the Toronto Police Service Board about the matter, but we were told this is something the police service is doing, and that the Board has no role.

It would be nice to know the terms of reference. Does it assume two officer police cars, which is inefficient and expensive? Does it assume police will continue to work overlapping shifts totaling 28 hours in every 24 hour period?

This issue is clearly one of importance to the city, since it has financial, management, and service implications. The conclusions of the study are surely ones that many will be interested in commenting on and reviewing with care. And how will the study proceed: will there be consultation with outside organizations and interests?

It is weird that the matter is being treated as internal one with no oversight by the Board. TPAC will be raising the issue at the Board meeting on March 27, asking that the
RFP be made public; that public comment be permitted on the terms of reference and the process anticipated before any RFP is issued; that the consultant selected be approved by the Board; and that the results of the study be fully available to the public.

2. Street checks  a.k.a carding  continue

When the Police Services Board decided on April 5, 2012 that Police must give a carbon copy of the carding information to those stopped; and that the chief should involve the Diversity Management Unit in monitoring carding and addressing discrimination where it seems to be occurring, we were a bit discouraged that the chief asked for three months to report on these changes. But we expected that come July 2012 this requirement to give information to those stopped would be put into place.

When the Board met on July 19, 2012 and the chief said he needed another four months before he could report, we were delighted that the Board decided he must report at the August meeting on implementing receipts.

At the August 15 meeting, the chief said the review about operational issues was complex but that the report he would file in November would include an implementation plan detailing how a form of receipt or record will be provided to individuals who are stopped by the police. The Board requested the Chief to implement an interim measure, effective November 01, 2012, pending the outcome of the comprehensive review which will be provided to the Board at its November 2012 meeting.

The November 14 Board meeting was messy. (See Bulletin No. 72) Chief Blair said he had put in place a notification form for those stopped, at the printer but operational by the end of the month, but he was unable to give anyone a copy of the form. Board members then began to question the information gathered on the 208 form in carding. The Board deferred everything until December 15 when it would be able to see the proposed receipt, and the Chief would report on whether the 208 form conforms to board policies. Then Chief released the receipt he proposed, but it was very general in nature and did not say what the officer had written down on the 208 card.

The matter was not on the December 15 meeting agenda, but it emerged at the January 23 meeting. The police explanations for delay caused exasperation (see Bulletin No. 73), and the Board decided the city solicitor would be asked to report on the legality of the carding practise, and a subcommittee  consisting of Councillor Michael Thompson, and board members Adrian Pringle and Marie Moliner  would work with the chief and propose a course of action. Both reports were promised to the Board on March 14.

The March meeting was delayed until March 27, and guess what  neither the legal report, nor the subcommittee report are on the agenda. It is as though there has been a deliberate attempt to derail five clear decisions by the Board over the last 12 months. There are lots of strong words one could direct at the chief, but TPAC is going before the Board to ask that its recommendations made in January be implemented immediately on an interim basis until something more permanent is agreed to:

1. The 208 form should be modified by replacing `Circumstances of Investigation with two headings, `Crime being investigated and `Why this person was stopped for this crime; and
2. The section on the reverse side, `Associates and `Young Person Information should only be completed in cases of an investigation of a Criminal Code or Drug offence.
3. A carbon copy of the amended 208 form should be given to everyone who is stopped and carded.

Others will be speaking as well. Well see what happens.

3. Quota-driven policing

They are at it again. The Toronto Sun reported on March 11, 2013 that another senior manager  this time the second in command at 53 Division  established targets that police should achieve on which they will be evaluated. The targets relate to the number of tickets each officer should issue for provincial offenses and for parking offenses, and the number of street-checks  carding incidences  each officer should perform. See
http://www.torontosun.com/2013/03/11/toronto-police-inspectors-memo-lays-out-ticket-goals

Mark Pugash, the lead communication person for the police service, said, according to the article, this illustrates managements right to get the best performance out of people and absolutely does not indicate a quota. Most people would disagree that these targets are not quotas. In the past Chief Blair and others have indicated that quotas are unacceptable, but senior managers apparently havent heard.

Most offensive is the fact that officers are expected to card a certain number of people. This indicates that carding is not part of police investigations based on evidence as the chief has claimed, but is something done to satisfy management.

Quotas are controversial. They make the public suspicious that police give out tickets in order to please police managers, or advance their careers or to meet city budget targets. The police oath of office requires that the officer will to the best of my ability, preserve the peace, prevent offences and discharge my other duties & faithfully, impartially and according to law. Acting according to quota contravenes the impartiality required.

TPAC expects to take this matter to the Police Board to get policy that prevents quotas and establishes good methods of performance evaluation.

4. Suspension with and without pay.

The issue of officers being suspended with pay while disciplinary or criminal hearings are ongoing has been around for a long time. The Police Services Act states that suspensions are always with pay, but if the officer is sentenced to jail, then the suspension can be without pay. Thus Steve Izzett, a staff inspector, was suspended with pay for almost five years, and was paid almost $ 1 million during that period. In early March he was convicted of sexual harassment on a discipline charge laid under the Police Services Act.

Other provinces allow leeway so officers can be suspended without pay. The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police in 2007 asked to amend the Police Services Act to allow for the suspension without pay of police officers charged with serious Criminal Code of Canada, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and other federal offences not related to their performance of duty, and to allow Chiefs of Police to suspend without pay police officers charged with offences and held in custody. It may be time to make another attempt to change the law.

5. Not notifying the SIU

A story seems to surface every few months of someone being injured in the custody of Toronto police, and the police not notifying Ontarios Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Notification is required by law, but too often the Toronto police  and other Ontario police services just cant seem to get around to it. Indeed the SIU says that 10 per cent of its cases come not from police but from third parties, such as lawyers.

The most recent example came from the courts, where a man was injured by police in 2010, but the SIU learned of it through the media when the court criticized police. http://www.torontosun.com/2013/03/15/double-embarrassment-for-toronto-police-in-costain-case

TPAC asked the Board last May to adopt a policy which would require officers to comply with the law and report such injuries to the SIU or face discipline. The Board decided to do nothing. Funny how the police are there to enforce the law but in some cases they decide to ignore it and the chief and the Board look the other way.

6. Its a well-paid organization

Like other public institutions in Ontario, the Toronto Police service is required to report how many of its employees make over $100,000 a year. In 2012, that figure was 3181, or about 40 per cent of the 7500 who work as officers or as civilians for the police service. In 2011 it was 2027, so the number has increased by more than 50 per cent in one year.

7. Subscribe to the Bulletin

To subscribe or unsubscribe to this Bulletin, please send a note to info@tpac.ca with the instructions in the subject line or in the text of the message. Our e-mail list is confidential and will not be made available to others. There is no charge for the Bulletin. Our website is http://www.tpac.ca.
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