Online survey launched to garner opinions of police conduct

By Admin Wednesday July 23 2014 in News
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By TOM GODFREY

 

Community members who believe they have been mistreated by police can now go online anonymously and have their say about the force.

 

The Toronto Police Service (TPS) last week launched an Internet survey that will remain online until July 31 to hear from city residents who have had run-ins with officers.

 

Names are not required for the survey, which only takes about 10 minutes to complete.

 

“We are examining the entire Service to scrutinize what we do, how we do it, identify areas for innovation and improvement,” said Chief Bill Blair. “We must do our best to meet the expectations of those we are sworn to serve and protect – the people of Toronto.”

 

He said public input is required to “keep Toronto the safest big city in North America”.

 

Superintendent Randy Carter said the Service is listening to members of the community and partner agencies.

 

“We need to understand what we expect of each other and what the public expects of us,” said Carter. “We will all be more engaged to work closely together to keep neighbourhoods safe.”

 

The information obtained from the survey, combined with additional research, will be used to identify actions to be taken to improve service, a police statement said.

 

The one-page survey alerts residents that “by understanding current performance and your needs, the Service can improve and gain your trust and engagement in the community”.

 

The survey asks applicants about their interactions with police, the most recent and reason why. It requires residents to rate the quality of service received from police, ranging from poor to excellent.

 

It asks readers about their satisfaction level during their encounter with police and what five areas of service can be improved by the force.

 

It calls for applicants to rate the officers’ appearance, courtesy, credibility, responsiveness, competence and fairness.

 

Residents are also asked to rate the force’s reliability and level of trust to determine officer trustworthiness.

 

Members of the Black community who have alleged they were racially profiled and carded by officers can now express themselves online.

 

Meanwhile, a long-awaited study into the multiple shooting death of Sammy Yatim on a TTC streetcar by a Toronto officer will be released this week.

 

Frank Iacobucci, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, will present his report on Police Encounters with People in Crisis to Blair on July 24.

 

The report was compiled by an Independent Review of the Use of Lethal Force in August 2013 following the death ofYatim, 18, who was shot nine times by an officer.

 

Const. James Forcillo was charged with second-degree murder and is before the courts. He is still on the force.

 

The report sets out 84 recommendations that can be used as a blueprint by police in dealing with this serious and difficult issue in the future.

 

It analyzes ways of reducing the use of lethal force by police, with a particular focus on police interactions with people in crisis and in need for urgent care within the mental health system.

 

The police online survey can be found at www.atfocus.ca/survey_focus11/view.php?isbn=TPS_QSS

 

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