4 Additional Recommendations & Advice
The input from the public, Service members and others on our action plan has been invaluable. We heard about the need for a closer relationship between the Service and all Toronto communities and neighbourhoods. We also heard about the importance of strong leadership that will result in real change, dispel skepticism, and build confidence in the future. The fact that our action plan is consistent with expert opinion about modern policing and organizational effectiveness was also reinforced.
Based on our consultations and ongoing deliberations, we have developed additional recommendations and advice for the Board and the Service.
1. Ongoing Public Engagement
As the conversation shifts from action plan to implementation, interest will intensify from residents, community groups and agencies, the business community and others. The Service will need to extend its outreach and engagement, especially on key areas such as culture and realigning divisional boundaries. Ensuring that all interested individuals and communities can meaningfully participate will require engagement opportunities and approaches that are as transparent and accessible as possible.
In support of this effort, we are recommending that in the next 90 days the Service come forward with a broad, inclusive and ongoing public engagement strategy for modernization. This strategy should incorporate opportunities for individual residents, make effective use of the existing Community Police Liaison Committees and Chief ’s Consultative Committees, and involve community groups and agencies, youth workers, and youth from different neighbourhoods.
2. Engaging with Service Members
Service members recognize the opportunity that modernization represents and we understand the skepticism that exists based on past experiences. We are recommending intensive and meaningful engagement with Service members on implementation as an essential part of modernization, and as an opportunity for the leaders of the Service to demonstrate culture change in action.
Members should have the chance to speak candidly, feel their input matters and have opportunities for collaboration on questions of design and implementation. Creating and empowering work teams from across the organization will also be an important part of the process.
We are also recommending substantive engagement on implementation with the Toronto Police Association and the Senior Officers’ Organization in the months ahead. The process needs to be open in terms of the evidence to inform important collective agreement discussions about more effective scheduling and deployment. These discussions should respect the important role that these two organizations play in representing their respective memberships and the role of the Board and the Service’s senior leadership in representing the public interest.
3. Culture Change
The message from the public about culture change as central to changing the relationship between police and residents was heard loud and clear. Chapter 6 on culture change is our response. We looked at previous culture change recommendations and saw that they were too limited or narrow in their approach. Our plan is comprehensive, starting with self-reflection and reaching into all aspects and levels of the Service. It includes far-reaching changes to leadership and decision–making, people management and human resources, structures and business processes, and technology and information management.
4. Strengthening Police Accountability
In our consultations, there was considerable discussion of police accountability. Concerns were expressed about individual and systemic bias, racism, discrimination, inappropriate use of force and escalation. References were also made to the Review of Police Oversight Agencies being conducted by the Honourable Mr. Justice Michael Tulloch. Justice Tulloch’s review encompasses the province’s Special Investigations Unit, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission. The Board and the Service have provided input to Justice Tulloch and are committed to moving quickly to implement directions that result from his work.
Beyond formal statutory accountability measures, there is more the Service can do to strengthen and deepen its culture of professionalism and accountability. We are recommending four mutually reinforcing actions to establish new pathways of accountability that are peer-to-peer within the Service, between officers and their leaders, and between the Service and the public. These pathways are components of the culture change plan described in Chapter 6 and will result in a significant shift in the accountability culture of the organization.
- Enhanced awareness for civilian members and officers on how to identify indicators that a fellow member may be in need of support, not only to prevent the potential for misconduct but also to support the member’s personal well-being. This measure will reinforce that in addition to being accountable to the public, Service members are also accountable to each other
- Enhanced training and guidance for Service leaders to develop and lead high performing teams, and to deal quickly and constructively with performance and discipline problems.
- Enhanced 360° performance evaluations for all uniform and civilian senior officers, focusing on demonstrated ability to support and develop their staff in the delivery of the highest quality policing service. These evaluations will include results and also how leadership achieves those results.
- The results of annual public opinion surveys on TPS effectiveness and satisfaction levels that are conducted by a third party will be available publicly on the Service’s website (see Chapter 7 – the proposed Scorecard) and will inform the actions of management at all levels.
5. Investing in Change
In our interim report, we identified $100 million, to date, in budget reductions and enhanced efficiencies as part of ensuring future affordability and sustainability. The Service has already implemented the three-year hiring and promotion moratorium to reduce budget requirements by $60 million between now and 2019.
Due diligence on a further $30 million in efficiencies through shared services, better supply chain management, and alternative service-delivery is well underway. We continue to be optimistic that more than an additional $10 million in efficiencies and savings through effective fiscal management will be found in the coming years.
New capital investments will also be required in the next three years and beyond to enable the Service to act on our major recommendations – such as developing new training and human resources systems, connected officer technology, and the building or renovation of police stations.
These are complex projects, and the Service is continuing to conduct analysis and engage with the City and external experts to determine the scope of the investments required. Over the next year, as thorough action plans are developed, the Service will be coming forward with more detailed investment information.
The Service will also be requesting City Council approval for a Modernization Reserve to allow it to acquire essential implementation expertise. To date we have identified the need for external resources skilled in change management, project management, and strategic communications, as well as to support the development of feasibility and due diligence studies. The Reserve will also be used to provide for technological, financial and procurement expertise at various stages of implementation, as well as the funding of initial investments and wind-down or amalgamation costs related to program changes.
The Reserve will be funded by the Service through annual operating budget surpluses achieved over the next three to five years. These surpluses will be generated through effective financial management strategies, rather than the Service requesting new funding in its annual budget for this purpose.
The proposed initial contribution is $3.5 million from the Service’s 2016 operating budget surplus. We appreciate that this will require the approval of City Council, although senior City staff have been briefed on this proposal and have indicated their agreement in principle with this approach and amount. The Service has also estimated a requirement for an additional $3.5 million in each of 2018 and 2019.
6. The Proposed Changes to Divisions and Police Stations
The consultations highlighted the need to be clear why we’re recommending a realignment of divisional boundaries and police stations. Concerns were expressed that fewer divisions and police stations will weaken rather than strengthen the relationship between neighbourhoods and the Service. There were also concerns that this would result in a diminished rather than enhanced local police presence. Some people may even think that this change is driven by the need to achieve savings.
As we emphasized in our interim report, the current divisional boundaries are outdated. They don’t align to Toronto’s neighbourhoods. Worse, they restrict the Service’s flexibility to move officers to where they are needed most. Many of our police stations are also outdated. Their design reflects some requirements that will not be relevant in future. As the city has changed around them, many are now in locations that do not best meet local needs. Our recommendations aren’t primarily about cost savings; they represent an opportunity to improve service to the public and being smart about how it’s done, including the use of new data analytics and modeling tools.
In Chapter 5 we emphasize that these measures are a key part of building a neighbourhood-centered police service. Simply put, police stations do not equate to police presence. Our recommendations will result in a stronger police presence with more officers spending a minimum of three years assigned to neighbourhoods, new recruits starting their careers in neighbourhoods, and using connected technology and working more closely with Toronto residents and communities.
7. The Strategic Importance of the Three-Year Moratorium on Hiring and Promotions
During the consultations, people asked how the three-year moratorium on hiring and promotions fits into modernization. Some felt that Toronto needs more police officers. Others said we need new Service members if we really want to change the culture. Our response is that the moratorium is a key part of modernization in a number of ways.
The moratorium will give the Service the time it needs to change outdated models and practices to make better use of existing officers and realign its resources to support a neighbourhood-centered approach to policing and other priorities. For example, eliminating the Transit Patrol isn’t a budget cut or the elimination of a service. It’s just the smart thing to do. The TTC has its own capable Transit Enforcement department. Rather than duplicating the TTC’s efforts, TPS officers can be put to better use. Most of the $60 million in reduced budget requirements over the next three years is being achieved through attrition – naturally occurring retirements and departures. This means that as vacancies occur, the Service will have opportunities to redeploy staff affected by other modernization changes. We are confident that during the moratorium, the Service will continuously assess its operational capacities to ensure public safety is maintained.
The moratorium will allow the Service to hold the line on hiring and the cost of policing for three years in order for long-overdue changes and strategic investments to be made. That’s the same challenge facing many public service organizations in Canada. The moratorium will provide the opportunity to have a very important discussion with the City about necessary investments. Simply investing in the same manner as in the past will yield the same results. As well, the City can’t be expected to provide new funding unless the Service can demonstrate it’s making the most of every dollar already received.
Finally, the moratorium is a smart approach to culture change. There is no point in recruiting new people using criteria, training, and procedures geared to today’s policing model. The moratorium will give the Service time to restructure and develop critical supports such as new training and other Human Resources programs. This will ensure that when new recruits are hired, they will start their careers as neighbourhood officers.
8. A More Efficient Retail Response
Based on input received during the consultations, this recommendation will need to be reassessed. The Task Force had proposed a program to appoint and train selected security staff at major shopping malls as special constables. These individuals would be authorized to process and release arrested individuals in some non-emergency situations. The goal was to reduce the time mall security staff spent waiting for a police officer to arrive, and to reduce call demands on the Service.
Meetings were held with a number of Toronto’s major shopping mall property management companies. While there was agreement that this program would reduce waiting times, property owners expressed concerns about potential liabilities. Our sense is that as the Service makes the shift from primary to priority response, it will be able to implement a more efficient way to respond to these situations without training security staff as special constables.
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