Moving Forward with Police Reform
The Toronto Police Services Board and the Toronto Police Service continue to move forward in implementing comprehensive police reform. At its meeting today, the Toronto Police Services Board received updates and approved a number of initiatives as part of its ongoing police reform work. This work flows from the Board’s 81 recommendations, approved in August 2020, that put into place a roadmap for comprehensive policing reform. These significant recommendations include building new community safety response models, initiatives to address systemic racism and concrete steps to improve trust with our communities. They followed robust public engagement that occurred over the months of June, July and into August 2020, following thousands of messages that the Board received from members of the public on police reform, accountability, and community safety priorities.
The Board’s workplan is comprehensive and wide-ranging, and includes recommendations with short, medium and long-term implementation timelines.
Some of the notable recommendations already implemented include the following:
- Posting of a line-by-line breakdown of the 2020 Toronto Police Service Budget to the Service’s website in a machine readable, open format that would facilitate further public analysis of the information.
- Expressing its support to the province of City Council’s request to amend the City of Toronto Act to expand the City Auditor General’s jurisdiction to include auditing the Service, and reporting the results of any audits by the Auditor General to the Board.
- Posting of the Toronto Police Service's Use of Force Procedure on its public website for the first time, and working to post other police procedures for public access.
The Board, at its meeting today, approved a number of additional initiatives as part of the police reform workplan.
Police Reform Implementation Dashboard
At its meeting, the Board received a presentation with respect to the Police Reform Implementation Dashboard, a public tracking tool that will display the progress being made to implement the 81 police reform recommendations approved by the Board in August 2020. This Dashboard represents an important cornerstone of the workplan, with an emphasis on ensuring public transparency and accountability from the outset, and keeping the public engaged with these reforms as they unfold.
The Dashboard describes the workplan for the Board and Service with respect to the implementation of each of these critical initiatives, tracks progress, and provides links to relevant public reports and documents as soon as they are available. The Dashboard is being designed iteratively so that further enhancements will be integrated in the coming weeks. The Dashboard is available on the Board’s website at this link will continue to be updated on a regular basis: https://tpsb.ca/consultations-and-publications/police-reform-implementation-dashboard.
Selection of Firm to Provide Public Consultation Services for Chief Selection Process
At its meeting, the Board also took an important step in the process to recruit Toronto’s next Chief of Police, approving a contract award to Environics Research Group Limited to deliver public consultation services as part of the Chief of Police selection process. One of the Board’s most significant responsibilities is to recruit and appoint a Chief of Police. The Board has emphasized that robust and deep public engagement to hear from Toronto’s diverse communities on the attributes, skills and priorities for the next Chief of Police is a key priority in the upcoming selection process –in particular, given the significant attention on driving policing reform.
Environics was selected based on its relevant experience and demonstrated ability to engage a broad spectrum of communities and key stakeholders – including those from marginalized and/or vulnerable groups for whom tailored methods of engagement may be required. The report approved by the Board details the various consultation activities proposed by Environics for this process, including roundtable meetings, internal consultation sessions, and focus groups, and notes that Environics’ approach to public engagement is designed with a view to maximizing broad public engagement from Toronto’s diverse communities, recognizing that unique approaches will need to be used during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The next step in this important process is to name a firm to provide executive search services to assist in the Chief Selection Process. Currently, that search is ongoing and it is anticipated to conclude within the coming weeks, with a recommendation to approve retention of a firm to be considered at the Board’s November meeting.
Recruitment of Members for Board’s Anti-Racism Advisory Panel (ARAP)
In addition, the Board is moving forward with the recruitment and selection of the new membership of its Anti-Racism Advisory Panel (ARAP), as this Panel’s inaugural mandate has now been completed. ARAP’s new Co-Chairs, Ainsworth Morgan and Anthony Morgan, were named at the August 2020 Board meeting and the Board report also detailed the expanded mandate of ARAP, among other structural changes.
At this time, the Board is seeking applications for the new membership of ARAP.
We are seeking membership from a cross-section of sectors, representing a vast span of expertise, experience and perspectives. The full details of required skills and specific expertise being sought is available here: https://tpsb.ca/consultations-and-publications/panels-and-committees
Individuals wishing to apply for membership on ARAP will be required to provide a resume and to complete an application form, comprised of a series of questions about the applicant’s experience and background, including the level and nature of expertise the applicant has, the applicant’s background and relevant community experience. An emphasis will be placed on applicants with a background in anti-racism, anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, as well as a number of other relevant areas of expertise.
Applications must be received by Friday November 13, 2020, Those applicants who have been chosen to proceed through the process will be asked to attend a virtual interview with ARAP’s Co-Chairs in November and December of 2020. At the conclusion of the selection process, the Co-Chairs will recommend to the Board a list of proposed members to participate on ARAP. It is anticipated that the recommendations for membership will be made to the Board at its December 2020 meeting.
It is anticipated that ARAP will meet every two months, and as needed, with its first meeting to be held in/by January 2021.
Applications can be made by following this link: https://tpsb.ca/panels-and-committees/arap-questionnaire
Contact: Sandy Murray