Survey of community’s satisfaction with cops to be released

By Admin Wednesday November 12 2014 in News
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By TOM GODFREY

 

The results of a Toronto Police Community Satisfaction Survey that was sparked by complaints of racial profiling will be released this week as a search for a new chief picks up steam.

 

A final report of the Community Assessment of Police Practices (CAPP) satisfaction survey will be delivered to members of the Toronto Police Services Board at a meeting on November 13 at Police Headquarters.

 

Neil Price, the executive director of LogicalOutcomes, will update the Board and release findings of the survey, according to a Board agenda of the meeting.

 

The $75,000 survey was launched last May in 31 Division, which includes the Jane St. and Finch Ave. W. area, to determine public satisfaction with police-community contacts in the area from June to August 2014.

 

The survey asked residents what are the top challenges a new chief will need to address and what competency skills he or she should have.

 

An online survey was also conducted from October 16 to November 6 in the wake of protests from members of the Black community following allegations of carding and racial profiling of Black youth by police.

 

There have been two demonstrations, several community meetings and a class-action lawsuit filed against police by the Black Action Defense Committee over the alleged profiling of Blacks that came to light following articles in the Toronto Star.


Those events led to the creation of a police Street Contacts Policy that set guidelines as to when officers can stop and question a person.

 

The search for a new chief will also look at the results of four community meetings that were held across Toronto, with the last one taking place earlier this month. Fewer than 300 community residents attended the meetings to offer input.

 

The Board hopes to post a detailed job description of skills and qualities required for the chief’s position by the end of this month. It plans to conduct interviews in January and announce a new chief in February 2015.

 

Board members said they’ve launched an internal and international search for the incoming chief.

 

The Board, in a precedent-setting move last week, also created a website for city residents to monitor its collective bargaining with the Toronto Police Association.

 

Members said the site is aimed at “better explaining the collective bargaining process with the Association”.

 

They said a whopping 89 per cent of the police operating budget of almost $1 billion goes to salary and benefits that are dictated by collective agreements.

 

“These settlements don’t necessarily reflect a municipality’s capacity to pay or its programs and service delivery priorities,” the Board said. “We believe there needs to be a break to this cycle of ever escalating costs of policing.”

 

The site said officers have received wage increases over the last number of years which have not only exceeded the rate of inflation, but have far exceeded the increases received by their municipal and private sector colleagues.

 

Chief Bill Blair has proposed a freeze to the police operating budget and is seeking to lay off about 43 officers. The matter will be voted on by the Board.

 

Blair served two five-year terms and sought a third but the Board opted instead to seek a new chief.

 

An incoming chief will likely be offered a five-year term and the job comes with an annual salary ranging from $250,000 to $350,000.

 

Blair faced many challenges during his tenure, including the mass arrests at the G20 Summit; an investigation involving outgoing Mayor Rob Ford; the racial profiling issue; the use of force by officers and their dealings with emotionally disturbed people.

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