Recently the separate murders of two police officers in Iowa, as they sat in their own patrol cars, must be a reminder to all decision makers in Law Enforcement how important it is to have two officer patrol cars. We live in a time that it is becoming more frequent that police officers are targeted for assassination. Toronto has had a policy in place in which during certain times of the day, most divisional patrol cars are staffed with two officers. This has been a luxury in Toronto for over 40 years. I say ‘luxury’ because most Canadian police services do not have this policy. In fact, most American police departments do not have this policy either, like the departments in Iowa.

Toronto police are going through a consultation process that is looking at budget savings and I have been told that removing the two-officer patrol car is one cut back being looked at. It has been proven over and over again that two officers in one car is a lot safer for the officer than one-officer patrol cars. It is obvious that policing is an imperfect profession and two officers in one car could still be targeted as has happened in the past, but those officers in one patrol car have a much better chance of survival then a lone officer sitting in their patrol car like the two cases in Iowa.

Police leaders should be demanding an increase in how many scout cars are patrolled by two officers instead of talking about removing the two-officer car. No matter where a police officer works, either ‘small town Ontario’ or a big city police service this should be looked at and demanded; two officers in patrol cars for their own safety.

Craig Bromell