Toronto Police Service has started its Community consultations. They have been answering questions from community members on its interim report with something called “The Way Forward” or modernizing policing in Toronto. Some of the recommendations are, closing police stations, starting a three-year freeze on hiring and promotions and reducing the staffing of the service by the hundreds.

The TPS has seen these types of reports for the past 30 years with promises from the brass on making changes and comforting the communities. Police officers still ask one question, how many people in Toronto and how many communities really want change? Over and over again we keep hearing from what coppers call the “usual suspects”, certain members of a few communities who will never be happy with the police.

The way the TPS comes across to some is that everything is going to be beautiful with these changes, peace in the land, and good will for all. But, what happens when the shit hits the fan after the changes are brought in? What happens when TPS has to deploy their Public Order Unit (Riot Unit)? Because it will happen, no matter what changes are brought in, the bad guys or criminals will stay the same. Look at Charlotte NC, great city, even better police service and the shit has hit the fan. Black police officer shoots a black male holding a gun and the Chief is black. Still hundreds took to the streets and a violent riot has taken place in which the Governor of North Carolina has called in the National Guard. Charlotte brought in the changes the TPS is talking about years ago.

Again, how many of the 3 million people in Toronto really want these drastic changes? Chief Saunders’ approval rating by his citizens is extremely high, higher today than when he first started. Police officers in Toronto still have a high rate of approval. There is no guarantee any changes will make police officers and the communities safer (look at Charlotte) no matter how cute members of the TPS answer community questions.

Are these dramatic changes being talked about to appease a few? And what is really wrong with the way the police do their job 24/7?  99% of the time all communities are satisfied with the police when it comes to performing their duties. When the police have thousands of interactions with the citizens of Toronto everyday that result in a very few complaints, just how bad is it?

Craig Bromell