January 12, 2023
The Toronto Police Services Board (the Board) invites the public to submit feedback on draft revisions of the Board’s Use of Force Policy, renamed the De-Escalation and Appropriate Use of Force Policy, that governs the way Toronto Police Service (the Service) Members may use force during interactions with members of the public, and how the Service monitors and reports on such incidents to the public.
The draft Policy sets, as a paramount goal, the reduction of harm, to the greatest degree possible, to ensure fair, effective and compassionate policing services for the people of Toronto, while taking into consideration the need to protect both members of the public, and Service Members. The proposed revisions also aim to provide Service Members with the tools and training required to enable them to make informed, compassionate decisions regarding the appropriate level of force – if any – that must be used in a particular interaction.
The draft Policy also proposes a number of tools and approaches to maintain appropriate accountability for Use of Force decision-making, in individual cases, and more broadly, including:
- enhanced reporting requirements that go beyond those set by the province;
- articulating in the Policy the legal requirement for an officer’s duty to intervene;
- clarifying the role of supervisors in identifying and addressing inappropriate uses of force and potential missed opportunities for the use of de-escalation; and,
- greater transparency of the Service with regards to the use of force by its Members.
The proposed revisions are part of the ongoing work to implement the Board’s 81 policing reform directions, approved in August 2020, requiring changes to align the Policy “with best practices to reduce death and injuries from the use of force by Service Members and with the Ontario Provincial Use of Force Model.”
To date, the Board’s professional staff have consulted with internal and external stakeholders, including the Board’s Anti-Racism Advisory Panel, the Toronto Police Association, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, community organizations, and academic experts, among others. Today, the public phase of the consultation process on the draft revisions is being launched, to ensure voices from across Toronto are heard, and have a chance to make an impact, on the final draft Policy that will be recommended for Board approval.
Members of the public are welcome to participate in the consultation in a number of ways:
- Submitting written comments on the Policy:
- Members of the public are encouraged to provide written comments to the Board using the form provided on our website, or by mail to the Board Office, 40 College St., Toronto M5G 2J3, c/o Dubi Kanengisser. Submissions must be received no later than end-of-day, February 24, 2023 to be considered. Submissions will form part of the public record, and will be made public on the Board's website at a later date.
- Virtual presentation (dates TBD):
- The Board Office will also host two webinar events, livestreamed on YouTube, to review the Policy and answer questions from the public. Additional details on these webinars will be provided on the Board’s website and social media accounts shortly.
- Community-hosted events:
- Organizations and groups who wish to host in-person or virtual sessions for their communities are encourage to contact the Board to arrange such sessions. Every effort will be made to accommodate every request received.
The Board thanks all individuals and organizations that have participated, and may still participate in this consultation process. This is an important and complex issue, and the public’s thoughts and perspectives are very much valued. This public input is critical to assisting the Board to ensure that all residents of Toronto can enjoy fair, effective and accountable policing services.
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.
Contact: Sandy Murray
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