TORONTO: The next scheduled meeting of the Toronto Police Services Board will take place on June 24, 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/yTl1bVdSijo.
Items of Interest at this virtual Board meeting include:
PRESENTATION AND M.O.U. – 911 CRISIS CALL DIVERSION PILOT PROJECT
The Service will make a presentation to the Board regarding the 911 Crisis Call Diversion Pilot Project, which is to be conducted in partnership with the Gerstein Crisis Centre. In the presentation, Deputy Chief Peter Yuen will outline how this new, innovative initiative will co-locate a crisis worker, with specialized training in mental health crisis response, in the Service’s 911 Communications Services Call Centre. The crisis worker will divert police resources away from calls that can be managed by a professional and independent crisis worker, who can connect individuals directly to mental health professionals and support. This critical initiative is tied to the Board’s police reform recommendations, approved in August 2020, which directed the Chief to work with stakeholders to develop new, and enhance existing, alternative models of community safety response. The Pilot Project will run for one year, from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, will be evaluated, and its estimated $522,000 cost will be absorbed by the Service.
Accompanying this presentation, the Board will consider a report from Chief Ramer, recommending that the Chair execute a Memorandum of Understanding between the Board and the Gerstein Crisis Centre in relation to the Pilot Project.
INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF TORONTO POLICE SERVICE USE OF CONDUCTED ENERGY WEAPONS
The Board will consider a report from Chief Ramer regarding the Independent Review of the Toronto Police Service Use of Conducted Energy Weapons (CEWs). The report responds to Board Motions approved in February 2018 regarding use of force and CEWs, and provides the Board with the independent report from MNP LLP, which was engaged to review the Service’s CEW program. This independent review examined statistical data on CEW use, governance and policy, training and reporting, both for the Service itself and in relation to other peer police services. MNP’s overall findings demonstrate that the nature and quality of the Service’s use, policies and reporting for CEWs are either in line with, or exceed, those of its immediate peer group. Specifically, the report commends the Service’s emphasis on de-escalation, its comprehensive training, the use of Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams, and the clear policy framework that has been developed. The report also makes recommendations for enhancements. As the Service notes in the report, it is committed to implementing the recommendations, many of which are underway, and will report to a future meeting of the Board on the status of the actions taken.
PROGRESS UPDATE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF BOARD’S RACE-BASED DATA COLLECTION, ANALYSIS AND PUBLIC REPORTING POLICY
The Board will receive a report from Chief Ramer containing a progress update on the implementation of the Board’s Race-Based Data Collection Analysis and Public Reporting Policy. The Policy reflects the joint effort and commitment between the Board, its Anti-Racism Advisory Panel, and the Service to identifying, monitoring and addressing systemic racial disparities in policing. The report outlines the progress achieved to date, which has enabled the Service to, among other things: launch a Community Advisory Panel comprised of twelve diverse residents, from Black, Indigenous and racialized communities, along with three stakeholder experts; begin to analyze perceived race data for Phase 1 interactions (Use of Force incidents and Strip Searches); establish a range of interactions to be part of Phase 2 (apprehensions, arrests, charges, releases and youth diversion); and, complete the hiring of an Indigenous Engagement Specialist who will play a key role in engaging various Indigenous communities in the development of the Service’s Indigenous engagement strategy.
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.