Police Board to hold Virtual Meeting on March 23, 2021
TORONTO: The next scheduled meeting of the Toronto Police Services Board will take place on March 23, 2021 at 9AM.
Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, and to protect the health and well-being of all involved while adhering to provincial and Toronto Public Health orders and guidance, 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/n3k4_WKZhBQ.
Items of Interest at this virtual Board meeting include:
PRESENTATION OF AWARDS TO SERVICE MEMBERS
The Board will present the annual Mental Health Excellence Awards and the Robert Qualtrough Award, for 2020 to Members of the Service. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a decision was made to postpone all in-person awards ceremonies for the remainder of 2020; this virtual presentation will recognize the awards recipients for their extraordinary contributions, in lieu of the usual ceremony. The Mental Health Excellence Award is an award granted to those who demonstrate excellence, compassion and respect in their interactions with members of the community who are experiencing mental illness. The Robert Qualtrough Award, named in honour of the late Robert Qualtrough who was renowned as a police leader committed to working in genuine partnership with the community, is an award honouring those who demonstrate excellence and leadership in promoting police-community partnerships.
PRESENTATON REGARDING GUN AND GANG STRATEGY FRAMEWORK
Acting Deputy Chief Myron Demkiw, Inspector Shannon Dawson, Inspector Dave Ecklund and Detective Sergeant Scott Purches will make a presentation to the Board regarding the modernized Toronto Police Service’s Gun and Gang Strategy Framework. The Toronto Police Gun and Gang Strategy Framework has three defined goals: 1) To provide a co‐ordinated and effective approach to gun and gang activity in partnership with our communities and guided by the City of Toronto’s SafeTO Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan; 2) To implement organizational and operational changes to improve public trust and confidence, and; 3) To engage in a multi‐sectoral and evidence‐based response to gun and gang activity that is informed by a public health lens. The presentation will outline how these goals will inform the Service’s prevention, intervention, enforcement and coordination activities, and will be tied to metrics; it will also outline a timeline for implementation.
PRESENTATION REGARDING CHIEF SELECTION PROCESS
Environics Research, which has been retained by the Board to deliver public consultation services as part of the Chief selection process, will update the Board concerning the work that has been done to date, and will describe how both the internal and external consultations will unfold. The public consultation process will include a series of virtual public consultations which have been scheduled for residents of Scarborough, Etobicoke, North York and Downtown Toronto, as well as an online survey. This public consultation process is the most extensive for a Chief selection process that the Board has organized to date, and will provide opportunities for people across the City to share their input, ensuring that a diverse range of voices are heard.
ANNUAL REPORT ON USE OF CONDUCTED ENERGY WEAPONS
The Board will consider a report from Chief Ramer on the 2020 annual report regarding the use of Conducted Energy Weapons (CEWs) by the Toronto Police Service. In 2020, of the 617,263 calls for service attended, of which 48,460 were calls involving violence, a CEW was utilized 604 times during 488 separate incidents, involving 499 subjects. Calls for service involving persons in crisis continue to show an increasing trend year over year. The nature of CEW use in 2020 shows an emphasis on only displaying the CEW and not actually deploying it, with ‘demonstrated force presence’ – where the CEW is just displayed – used 70.5% of the time, followed by full deployment at 21.9% and drive stun mode used in 4.1% of total uses. While the number of reportable use of force incidents has increased, the report explains that this is attributed to police constables now having the option of displaying a CEW in lieu of resorting to empty-hand techniques to control a non-compliant or assaultive individual. The report includes discussion of a number of important areas related to CEW use by the Service, including training, governance, community consultation, misconduct and civil claims.
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.