TORONTO: The next scheduled meeting of the Toronto Police Services Board will take place on November 24, 2020 at 9:00AM.
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/_5l6vQAsdug
Items of Interest at this virtual Board meeting include:
TORONTO POLICE SERVICE’S REFORM INITIATIVES WITH RESPECT TO SEARCH OF PERSONS
The Board will consider a number of items related to the Service’s reform with respect to search of persons. The Service will provide a presentation detailing these reforms and the impact they have had to date in reducing the number of strip searches conducted across the Service. The Service will also present its findings and actions arising out of a comprehensive Strip Search Review, as well as its updated response to the recommendations from Office of the Independent Police Review Director’s 2019 systemic review on police use of strip searches in Ontario. The Board will also consider correspondence from the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) Director and from the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) with respect to some of the Service’s reforms in this area to date.
POLICE REFORM INITIATIVES
The Board will consider several reports from the Chief concerning various police reform initiatives, and the work in progress to implement them. The police reform initiatives all arise out of the 81 police reform recommendations approved by the Board in August 2020. The Service will provide:
its initial update on the implementation of the first set of recommendations that required the Service to respond to the Board by its November 2020 Board meeting, as well as an overview of how the Service intends to keep the Board informed of the other ongoing initiatives and reforms. The report outlines the reporting structure and accountability mechanisms that have been put into place, and notes the importance of partnering with experts, community members and other agencies to drive some of the initiatives effectively. This report specifically looks at the Service’s updated response to recommendations included in the following reviews and reports: the PACER (Police and Community Engagement Review) report, the independent review conducted by Justice Frank Iacobucci entitled “Police Encounters with People in Crisis,” those made by the Auditor General in all previous reports, the Inquest into the Death of Andrew Loku, and The Way Forward, the Service’s modernization and transformation plan;
a report from the Chief concerning the Service’s approach to identifying and monitoring police officers who are repeated subjects of conduct complaints or negative findings by the courts, or those who disproportionately use force. This report describes current efforts to identify police officers who are repeated subjects of conduct complaints, how these officers are monitored or provided additional training, and other holistic initiatives designed to improve the Service’s Early Identification program; and,
a report from the Chief with respect to the expansion plan for the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT) Program. As the report notes, the Service is taking several immediate and important steps to enhance this program, improve the sophistication of its operations and deployment decision-making, facilitate improved outcomes for those supported by the program with a data-based approach, and embed crisis workers into the intake function so as to provide the most appropriate response depending on the nature of the call for service, within existing resources. As the report notes, this work is being done in consultation with the Board’s Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Panel (MHAAP).
BOARD POLICY GOVERNING BODY-WORN CAMERAS
The Board will consider a report from Ryan Teschner, Executive Director and Chief of Staff, recommending approval of a new Board Policy to govern the Service’s use of Body-Worn Cameras (BWC). This is the first Policy of its kind in Canada, and aims to provide guidance for an optimally balanced, evidence-based governance structure for BWCs that ensures the recording of incidents where recordings would be of value, while minimizing any unintended consequences related to privacy. The approach taken by the proposed BWC Policy was developed based on a review of both internal and external evidence, and through a broad and in-depth consultation with stakeholders and members of the public. The report also makes recommendations concerning a number of related items, include public access to BWC recordings, a communications strategy to provide information to the public, ongoing consultation with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario to ensure privacy interests are consistently considered and the exploration of partnership with experts to evaluate the impacts of the use of BWCs on communities in Toronto.
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.
The Toronto Police Services Board is the civilian body responsible for governing the Toronto Police Service. The Board is responsible for ensuring the provision of adequate and effective police services in the City of Toronto, setting priorities and objectives for the Toronto Police Service, approving the annual police budget and selecting the Chief of Police.