Toronto does not need to hire more police officers

Sewell, John

Publisher:  The Star
Date Written:  16/01/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22532

As you contemplate the push by the Toronto Police Association to have more police officers hired, remember that the issue is not the need for more officers, but featherbedding.



Last August when the police association said the force needed more officers, the Toronto Police Services Board agreed to hire 80 new officers, even though in February it had agreed to shrink the force for the next three years by the number retiring or leaving.

Now officers and the association are vociferously arguing once again that there are not enough officers on duty to respond to serious calls for service.

The force has plenty enough officers right now, although they have work arrangements that mean they aren't always available when needed. For instance, Toronto has a rule (demanded by the association 40 years ago), that all police cars have two officers from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. Most calls for service only require the presence or assistance of one officer. Requiring that officers travel in pairs means the second officer is there only for show or to keep his buddy company, not to perform police work - hardly a good use of staff, or of public money.

A study was recently commissioned by the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition looking into two officer cars. It shows that two officer cars do not provide a level of safety greater than one officer patrol cars; that most calls not do require two officers be present; that other police forces do not have the requirement that all cars must have two officers at specific times, but instead determine that two officer cars are optional.

If we could free one officer from half these cars, there would be no shortage of staff to deal with calls for service.
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