Nov 15, 2012
By Jane Brown
Toronto’s Police Chief has been told by the Toronto Police Services Board he won’t be getting a $21-million increase for his 2013 budget. Councillor Frances Nunziata is on the board. She doesn’t buy Chief Blair’s argument that he has to cut front line officers in order to achieve a zero increase budget. “I asked the Chief to go back and come back with a revised budget where we can find some cost savings without cutting front line officers. We have made it very clear to the Chief, we will not cut front line officers.” Board members suggested bringing back one officer cars and closing some police stations during off hours when demand is low.
The meeting of the Police Services Board was heated at times … over a discussion on racial profiling. Board members want a review of all the information police ask for during street checks. Chief Blair acknowledges racial bias and racial profiling can occur, but said it’s not tolerated by the force. “I’m not going to suggest that there cannot be a racial bias that’s influencing that because we’re all human beings. But I do not believe that’s the case in the majority of these things.”
A Toronto newspaper series earlier this year showed that blacks are 3.2 times more likely to be stopped and documented by the Toronto force than whites.