It really is something to hear the ongoing debate regarding downsizing the Toronto Police Service. On the side of less is better, here are some of the quotes I’ve read; “Fewer officers are a good thing”, “Policing in Britain has improved immensely since they cut the number of officers by a third”, “Better ways of policing – you don’t need uniformed officers”, “Many services can be offered by civilians”, “One problem is that police always get what they want: bigger budget, more staff, it hasn’t led to better policing”.

Reading these quotes (and others) really makes me believe there must be a hidden agenda here, or are people this naive, do they truly believe smaller, much smaller is better when it comes to policing a community? If the agenda is to downsize because politically it looks better for politicians when 10% of a $1B budget has been removed, then just say it.

Nobody who really cares about policing believes that removing hundreds of officers from a police service will help. Freezing promotions and the hiring of new officers for 3 years will be a disaster. In those 3 years, 400 or 500 officers will retire, half of them being supervisors with no replacements. Is anyone at 40 College including the walking wounded when they count heads, officers who cannot perform their duties for a number of justifiable reasons (I am told this number is in the hundreds)?  Here is something to consider, what if nobody retires, what if they all decide to stay. With the average copper in T.O. making well over $100K (with all the benefit pluses) and now they are being asked to do less, why leave? They are being told to just phone it in or turn to FIDO. Over the next 3 years they also have some good raises coming.

The reason for closing the divisions is simple at face value, there is a savings on management cost, but less supervisors from Sgt. up to Superintendent is crazy because the service needs more supervision now than ever before.

It is really becoming laughable, and front line officers are just shaking their heads at what they are hearing. At the same time police officers are getting an old attitude back, the 11th Commandment from the old days of policing, “Thou shall cover thee ass”. The ones who want change might just get what they want, an entire police service who just do not give a F%#@.

Craig Bromell