Tuesday, September 1, 1998
John Spears and Paul Moloney
Police union ads on hold, Gardner saysThe Toronto Police association has put on hold plans for an advertising campaign targeting politicians critical of the police, police services board chairman Norm Gardner says.
But Craig Bromell, who heads the police association, says the campaign is still on the rails and could be activated on short notice.
Bromell, Gardner and police chief David Boothby met for about half an hour at police headquarters yesterday. The meeting was triggered by the association's plan to buy print and broadcast ads applauding politicians who support police -- and criticizing those who the union believes are not supportive.
Gardner and Bromell offered different perspectives of the police association's position following the meeting.
Gardner said the association has promised to hold off. "Basically, they reiterated the same thing they reiterated to me prior to last Thursday's board meeting: That as far as they were concerned they were going to be putting a hold on their advertising campaign," Gardner said.
"They would reserve the right to continue or reactivate it depending on whether or not they had anything to comment on. As far as the issue of naming politicians in their ads, both positive or negative, was being put on hold."
In a separate interview Bromell said the association still plans to run the ads. "We're still going to go through with the campaign." The campaign will highlight "councillors that have been very fair to the police," he said. "It's also against councillors that we feel are not."
Bromell said politicians who support vastly outnumber those who don't. The police association hasn't put a "hold" on the campaign because no decision has ever been made on when to start it, Bromell said.
"We were never the ones that came out and gave any dates or times," he said."We never talked about when it was going to happen."
"But it's not really on hold or anything like that," he said. "We never gave any dates as to when we were going to do it in the first place... Why people thought we were starting it tomorrow I have no idea."
Ad campaign to start later, union saysThe campaign is ready to go and "could start up as soon as we get the air space," he said.
Gardner said his understanding is that the association might go ahead with the campaign around the time of the next election, in the year 2000.
"That's one of the things they're looking at," he said. "That would be the more ideal time if they were to continue to promote some politicians or identify others. That would be a more opportune time for them to do so." Gardner added that morale on the force has "never been higher."
The chief and I agree that, from a policing perspective, things are getting done," he said. The officers like going to work. They enjoy their job more than they ever did before.
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Last modified: February 15, 1999
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