Community members appreciate NCOs and provide insights to improve

Between October 2022 and March 2023, there were six Race and Identity- Based Collection (RBDC) Community Town Halls throughout Toronto, hosted by community agencies in partnership with the Toronto Police Service.

View of a man in a police uniform from behind, the man is wearing a sign on the bakc POLICE - NEIGHBOURHOOD COMMUNITY OFFICER

Each town hall provided an interactive hybrid model for community members to ask questions, voice their concerns, and give feedback on the 38 proposed action items to address the outcomes of the 2020 Use of Force and Strip Search report as a result of the RBDC findings.

A consistent message from community members is that they have a high regard for the Neighbourhood Community Officers (NCOs) and appreciate their role in building trust with communities. At the same time, a perceived frequency of change in NCOs was identified as a roadblock and made communities feel like they must continually re-establish the groundwork of a relationship. Time invested is seen as vital to building and maintaining strong relationships.

Participants also provided insights into how to improve the NCO program, which proved successful in strengthening relationships with communities:

  • Create promotion opportunities within the community so officers don’t have to leave in order to get promoted.
  • Involve community members in co-designing the NCO program.
  • Pair officers of different backgrounds to learn from each other and also immerse themselves in the local culture to forge trusting relationships with community members.