1 Our Action Plan

The members of the Toronto Police Service (“TPS” or “the Service”) are dedicated individuals who are committed to our city. They carry out their responsibilities with honesty and integrity. They understand the importance of public trust and take their duty of care seriously.

However, Toronto has become a very large and complex city. It has changed dramatically and rapidly in the last few decades and will continue to do so in the decades ahead. Like many large cities in North America and elsewhere, the scope and pace of change in Toronto’s neighbourhoods and communities have created new demands and pressures on policing.

The TPS and its members have worked hard to respond. They have taken a model of policing that was designed for a different time and different city, and have stretched it to the limits of what’s possible.

The Transformational Task Force’s (the Task Force) mandate has been to look beyond the way policing is currently done in Toronto to propose a modernized policing model for the City of Toronto that is innovative, sustainable and affordable – a model that will place communities at its core, be intelligence-led and optimize the use of resources and technology while embracing partnerships as a means of enhancing capability and capacity.

The Task Force represents a very different approach to the challenge of modernizing policing in Toronto. It has been an intensive partnership over the past twelve months of volunteers with varied backgrounds and Service members with equally varied experience. Having the Board Chair and Chief of Police as co-chairs has made it clear that this has not been just another review that will require further study by the Service.

With this action plan, we define the path to excellence for the TPS. We envision an organization that is an international leader in providing trusted communityfocused policing. The modern Toronto Police Service will embrace and be embraced by all Toronto residents and communities. It will engage with and be inclusive of the full diversity of our city. It will continually evolve to meet the changing needs of Toronto and in doing so will demonstrate excellence in public service management and leadership.

A Different Kind of Action Plan

People have asked us about the value of yet another report that calls for changes in policing. We understand the question and we are optimistic about the future. We believe passionately that this time is different for three reasons:

  • The evidence and best practices from other jurisdictions and organizations confirm for us that the limits of the existing model of policing have been reached. The answer to outdated service-delivery cannot simply be more public funding. To contain costs and ensure value for money, fundamental change is needed.
  • We are seeing an unprecedented alignment of forces for positive change across the city. Residents and communities of Toronto have spoken in the past and more recently in our public consultations about the need for change. Toronto City Council and its public service are very aware of the many ways Toronto is changing. They recognize the impossibility of policing continuing as it has. The members and leadership of the TPS are passionate about excellence, perhaps understanding most keenly that the status quo is not sustainable. They are well aware of how policing is evolving in other jurisdictions.
  • The scope and approach of our report and recommendations is different from previous studies and reports. There has never been a review of policing in Toronto with this mix of volunteer and Service member representation or with a mandate so broad and deep. With the support of the public and the City of Toronto, as well as the support and resources of the Service, our focus has been on developing a modernized police service. We are confident that our recommendations go well beyond all previous reviews and, implemented together, will result in comprehensive and long-lasting change. Even though some recommendations for modernization may be constrained by current provincial legislation as well as collective agreements, the majority of actions we are proposing are within the power of the Board, the Service, and the City to take.

Getting on with the Job

Getting on with the job is the primary focus of this final report. Full scale modernization will not occur overnight. Changes to processes and organizational structures will take place over the next two to three years, with full culture change being realized over time.

Since the Interim Report was released in June 2016, a great deal of work has been done to validate its direction and recommendations. Where appropriate, action is already underway:

  • The Board’s previous approval of the interim report has enabled the Service to move forward where further approvals are not required. It has also taken the important step of indicating that it will embrace this final report as its business plan for the next three years.
  • An extensive planning effort is underway within the Service, with tremendous energy being put into translating our recommendations into actions.
  • The Task Force has conducted consultations with residents, community organizations, and external experts. In addition, we have received initial feedback from within the Service.
  • A full-time core team of officers and civilians from across the Service has been put in place including the acquisition of new expertise in strategic project implementation and communications. Work is also underway to strengthen the Service’s strategic capacity in culture change, communications, finance, human resources, and information technology.
  • With the support of external experts, the Service has made significant progress on the development of a new and sophisticated database and a set of modeling and analytical tools that will give it a better understanding of workload and demand within Toronto’s neighbourhoods. The resulting data, information and evidence-based insights will support the implementation of many of our recommendations.
  • The Service has issued formal requests seeking information about shared services and alternative service-delivery. To date, potential areas under consideration include academic partnerships, Audit and Quality Assurance, Court Services, Employment Background Screening, Fleet Management, Parking Enforcement, and Records Management.
  • The Service has initiated discussions with the City of Toronto and negotiations are ongoing with respect to budgets, seeking a common strategy on recommendations that require changes to provincial legislation, and the transitioning of non-policing activities. The response from the City Manager’s Office has been highly supportive and a staff person from his office has been embedded in the Service to support transition planning.
  • Action has already been taken to return two surplus police buildings (used for the Divisional Policing Support Unit and the Public Safety Unit) to the City. These buildings have an estimated market value of $4.5 million. Their return to the City will save the Service $250,000 in annual operating costs and we anticipate that additional properties will be returned to the City in the future. The two units affected by this change have been consolidated into other police facilities.
  • Consultations have begun with City of Toronto Real Estate Services to locate a suitable site for the proposed consolidation of 54 and 55 Divisions.

Structure of the Final Report

Our final report is organized into eight chapters, including this introduction and overview. The following is a brief summary of the content and themes of the remaining chapters.

Chapter 2: The Strategy Map

In our interim report, we called this the Vision – the guiding mission, principles and goals of the modernized TPS. It’s still all those things but it has become known simply as the “Strategy Map”. Our original 24 recommendations were based on this map. It now guides the framework for action in this final report.

Chapter 3: Talking about modernization

We conducted public consultations on our interim report with individuals, groups and organizations from many different parts of Toronto. We received initial feedback from Service members, and engaged with the academic community, experts in shared services, and business organizations with expertise in technology and large-scale change. This chapter summarizes contributions from the many individuals and organizations that participated in our consultations.

Chapter 4: Additional recommendations and advice

Input from the public, Service members and others has been invaluable to our work. While comments generally aligned to our overall direction, they also led us to develop additional recommendations and advice for the Board and the Service as they move forward on our recommendations.

Chapter 5: Modern policing in Toronto

Our action plan is first and foremost about a smarter approach to policing. In this chapter, we focus on significant changes that illustrate the Service being where the public needs it the most, embracing partnerships to create safe communities, and better meeting the needs of our complex city.

Chapter 6: Culture change

Excellent organizations are defined by their culture. The Service will continue to evolve its culture and embed the vision, principles and goals of the Strategy Map in all that it does. The culture change plan described in this chapter is a comprehensive approach that reaches into all aspects and levels of the Service.

Chapter 7: Reporting on progress

The public and members of the Service want to know that change will happen. They need to know the results will be as intended. In this chapter we describe a transparent reporting process and accessible Modernization Scorecard that will be a radical departure from anything Torontonians have seen from the TPS in the past.

Chapter 8: Taking action

In partnership with the Task Force, the Service has been building change capacity, engaging with experts and developing action plans. This chapter summarizes the status of work on the 24 recommendations from our interim report. These are complex multi-year projects where action is already underway with much more to come. This chapter also includes a summary of the additional recommendations we make in this final report.

Next Steps

With this final report, the work of the Task Force comes to an end, while the work of the Board and the Service to implement our action plan continues. The Board will discuss our action plan and decide on next steps in public. However, that plan cannot be turned into reality without the support of the residents of Toronto and the members of the Service. They will need our engagement, our advice and our active involvement. Together, it’s the way forward.


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