Mayor John Tory has unveiled details about a city report outlining more than 80 recommendations to address systemic racism in the Toronto Police Service.
In a news conference this morning at City Hall, Tory said the Toronto police reforms report will be presented at a virtual Toronto Police Services Board meeting next week.
“... The time for reform is now. And this report will ensure that the reform process begins for real, that we actually begin to implement a number of these things in coming weeks as opposed to even months and years, and that we clearly communicate to the public as the reform is happening,” Tory said during the press conference.
Tory said the recommendations are divided into 10 themes, including:
- alternative community safety response models
- police budget and budgetary transparency
- independent auditing and service accountability
- selection criteria for a new chief
- data sharing and information transparency
- conduct accountability
- police training
- consultation with experts and communities
- building public confidence
- ensuring change
Of the recommendations, Tory said the most significant include non-police alternatives for community safety, the expansion of the mobile crisis intervention team across all divisions all year long, a review of the current use of force model and the expansion of instances where officers can be suspended without pay.
The report represents an ambitious series of reforms that need to be implemented right away, Tory said.
“This is a recognition of the fact that we know we must do more because systemic racism in policing threatens the equal rights and opportunities and justice and well-being of Indigenous, Black and marginalized communities in our city.”
The policing reforms report also recommends that the board create an online monitoring tool to track the progress of the implementation of the reforms by October.
“I am determined to see that these kinds of measures and all of these different investments we will continue to make and to expand and bring about real change starting now and continuing as we move forward,” Tory said.
The city’s report comes after the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released its second report outlining the prevalence of anti-Black racism in the Toronto Police Service on Monday.
Titled “A Disparate Impact,” the report analyzed Toronto police data from 2013 to 2017 and found that Black people are more likely to be “arrested, charged, over-charged, struck, shot or killed by Toronto police.”
It also found that even though Black people represent only about 8.8 per cent of the city's population, they represented almost a third of all charges in the data.
The Toronto Police Services Board and the Toronto Police Service issued a joint response to the OHRC’s report on Monday and said they view the report as being important to their efforts to critically examine and act to address anti-Black racism.
“The Toronto Police Service is committed to accountability and community input to ensure we foster a human-rights based approach to policing and combating systemic racism,” Toronto Police Service Interim Chief Jim Ramer said in a written statement.
“We are continuing to work on ensuring that equity and anti-racism are built into all of our policies and practices.”
The next Toronto Police Services Board meeting is on Aug. 18 at 10:30 a.m.
With files from The Canadian Press.