Toronto Police Services Board Virtual Meeting Live:
SWEARING-IN OF NEW BOARD MEMBER
Executive Director Ryan Teschner will administer the oath of office and oath of secrecy to Ms. Lisa Kostakis, who was appointed to the Board by the Province of Ontario for a term of three years.
FAREWELL REMARKS BY CHAIR JIM HART
The Chair will make farewell remarks to mark the retirement of former Chief Mark Saunders, who recently retired from the Toronto Police Service with almost 38 years of dedication to the organization and to the residents of this city, marked by extraordinary expertise as a policing professional and a remarkable commitment to moving the Service forward. Former Chief Saunders’ renowned policing expertise, steadfast professionalism and ability to steer the Service through a challenging period of significant transformation have undoubtedly enhanced policing in our City.
POLICE REFORM IN TORONTO
At this meeting, the Board will consider three reports that outline recommendations and initiatives to support for police reform in Toronto.
The Board will consider a report from the Co-Chairs of its Anti-Racism Advisory Panel (ARAP), Notisha Massaquoi and Uppala Chandrasekera, recommending that the Board approve a framework and accompanying public-facing dashboard to monitor the implementation of the recommendations made at the Inquest into the Death of Andrew Loku. The development of this Framework, which will enable the evaluation of whether identified outcomes are being achieved, was the central piece of ARAP’s mandate and included the valuable input of a variety of important community voices and perspectives. The report also recommends that, where appropriate, the Board apply the same comprehensive, analytic and thematic approach to similar initiatives that have significant public interest in the future.
The Board will also consider a report from the Chief recommending the approval of a Body-Worn Camera contract award with Axon Canada for a five-year term (and the option to extend for an additional year). The current estimated cost, which will be funded from the Service’s operating and capital budget, is $25 million for the five-year term, with the additional option year estimated at $5 million. The report outlines the operational benefits and areas of the program that require continued focus. The report states that, while the primary objective of utilizing body-worn cameras is officer accountability and maintaining a truthful integral narrative of police interactions with the public, it also has a number of additional benefits.
Finally, the Board will consider a report from Chair Hart regarding a number of police reform recommendations, entitled “Police Reform in Toronto: Systemic Racism, Alternative Crisis Response and Building a New Confidence in Community Safety.” This comprehensive and wide-ranging report contains a variety of recommendations aimed at addressing systemic racism and the other challenges that result in disparate outcomes for racialized communities in their interactions with the Service. The report also creates a path forward for ongoing work to reform police service-delivery and enhance public confidence in the Service. The report was the product of consultations with the Board’s two advisory panels, the Anti-Racism Advisory Panel (ARAP) and the Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Panel (MHAAP), as well as incorporating requests made by City Council in decisions made at its June 29 2020 meeting. The report also incorporates feedback received from the public through the Board’s recent Town Hall sessions, and provides summaries of this feedback in both written and graphic forms, which are also available on the Board’s website at: https://tpsb.ca/consultations-and-pub….
The report includes a number of items that, if approved, will result in immediate actions by the Service to improve the Service’s accountability and transparency. These include: posting the Service’s Use of Force Procedure publicly on its website, posting an enhanced line-by-line breakdown of the Service’s 2020 budget, posting the Service’s annual Budget Summaries and Uniform/Civilian Staffing Summaries by Command for the last five budget years, and, ensuring that this information is made available in an open format that would facilitate the public’s ability to engage with it.
Other recommendations in the report set the roadmap for additional steps to be taken in the months ahead, aimed at addressing systemic racism and rebuilding trust in community safety. These include, among others, the development and implementation of alternative community safety response models, particularly in relation to mental health crisis calls, and increased transparency around the police budget process.