TPS may end hiring freeze, union leader suggests
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, August 9, 2017 1:39PM EDT
The head of the union representing Toronto police officers says he is hopeful that a two-year-long hiring freeze could soon come to an end.
Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack told CP24 on Wednesday that he recently had “very positive discussions” with Chief Mark Saunders and Toronto Police Service board chair Andy Pringle regarding some of the concerns his members have over staffing levels.
The discussions came after the union launched a campaign earlier this summer to oppose ongoing cuts to the number of uniformed officers.
As part of that campaign, the union advised members to take steps to “de-stress,” including taking their lunch breaks and limiting the use of personal cellphones for work purposes.
“We had some meaningful discussions and we are looking at making sure we are adequately staffed today,” McCormack said of his discussions with Saunders and Pringle. “We want to have some immediate relief. The chief and the chair were receptive to that.”
The 2017 police budget saw the number of deployed uniformed officers drop from 5,224 to 5,072.
The TPS also plans to further reduce the compliment of uniformed officers through attrition. The target of uniformed cops for 2018 is 4,912 and the target for 2019 is 4,767.
Speaking with CP24, McCormack said that his officers aren’t’ against modernization but believe any changing to staffing levels need to be done in a “evidence-based way.”
McCormack did not provide any information on how many officers could be hired to fill vacancies but said that he is “encouraged that we are going to be staffed to the level we need to be.”