Police Board to hold Virtual Meeting on August 18, 2020 focused on Police Reform in Toronto
TORONTO: The next scheduled meeting of the Toronto Police Services Board will take place on August 18, 2020 at 10:30 AM.
Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, and to protect the health and wellbeing of all involved while adhering to provincial emergency orders, this Board Meeting will proceed as a virtual meeting. Members of the public and media are welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting through our livestream at https://youtu.be/I_UG3_LdKOs. The agenda is available on the Board’s website at: https://tpsb.ca/meetings/meetings-past.
Members of the public who wish to make a deputation may register using the regular process, at https://www.tpsb.ca/meetings/making-a-deputation. The request must be received no later than 12:00pm on Monday, August 17, 2020. Please note that in light of the anticipated number of people who will be making deputations at this meeting, and to enable the Board Office to prepare appropriately, we ask that, where possible, members of the public who wish to make a deputation register as early as possible. Members of the public who are not available on the day of the Board meeting and wish to make submissions may do so in writing by 12:00pm on Monday, August 17, 2020 using the following link: https://www.tpsb.ca/meetings/making-a-deputation
Items of Interest at this virtual Board meeting include:
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.
The Chair will also speak about former Board Member Uppala Chandrasekera, whose term on the Board recently ended. The first mental health and addictions professional appointed to the Board, Ms. Chandrasekera has been a dedicated champion in leading initiatives focused on mental health and addictions as well as equity and anti-racism. Her extensive background and experience in mental health have been instrumental in developing a more effective and more compassionate response to people experiencing mental health and addictions challenges, both in the community, and within the Service.
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-publications/july-2020-town-halls.
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.
Chair Hart stated that “the Board’s consideration of these various recommendations represents a significant step forward as we work to meaningfully incorporate the perspectives of community members into what community safety in Toronto should look like. Together, they provide the foundation upon which a transformative action plan is being created, focused on addressing systemic racism and the disparities in outcomes and impacts that result for members of Black and other racialized communities, dealing with those experiencing mental health and addictions issues more effectively and more compassionately, enhancing accountability and transparency, and, ultimately, restoring trust and confidence in our police.”
Important information about deputations at this meeting:
Please note that in light of the anticipated number of people who will be making deputations at this meeting, and to enable the Board Office to prepare appropriately, we ask that, where possible, members of the public who wish to make a deputation register as early as possible. Furthermore, in light of the Board’s desire to give members of the public a fair opportunity to be heard, depending on the final number of registered deputations, the Board may consider a Motion at the outset of the meeting to reduce the time each deputant has to make a deputation from five minutes to three minutes.
Once registered, deputants will be contacted directly by email with instructions as to how to provide their deputation. When registering, deputants must ensure that they provide an up-to-date e-mail address and the telephone number they will use to call in for their deputation so that they may be reached for follow-up and easily identified during the meeting. Individuals who are unable to join the meeting virtually and require an accommodation should contact the Board’s Administrator, Ms. Diana Achim, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those members of the public who wish to provide a written submission instead, they may do so by 12:00pm on Monday, August 17, 2020 using the following link: https://www.tpsb.ca/meetings/making-a-deputation, and selecting “written deputation only” under “type of deputation.” Written submissions received in accordance with the Board’s Procedural By-law will be provided to Board Members in advance of the public Board meeting for their review and consideration.
As with all meetings, a recording of this meeting will be posted and archived to the Toronto Police Service YouTube account at https://www.youtube.com/TorontoPolice for members of the public to access later at their convenience.
Contact: Sandy Murray