September 16-22 1999, Vol. 19, Number 3

Enzo Di Matteo

p. 19.

Cops score big with terrorism

Gotta hand it to police union head Craig Bromell. He sure knows how to throw his ample weight around. It's gotten to the point where he passes wind and the city brain trust quivers.

This week, Bromell's threat of a police job action copped for the boys and gals in blue a 7-per-cent pay increase over the next three years.

That means some of our finest and not-so-finest will be earning a tidy $60,300 a year by 2002. For staff sergeants and detectives sergeants, salaries will rise to $75,000 by the end of this contract, and that's not including overtime and benefits.

Not too shabby for a job that requires all of a grade 12 education.

Maybe if raises were tied to university degrees in sociology, race relations or psychology, taxpayers would get value for dollars.

As it stands, the police union's threats to cut back on services amounts to a form terrorism, a massive temper tantrum designed to force the police services board to fork over precious city funds.

Next year, when the board heads for council with cap in hand, councillors will once again succumb to threats and dire warnings, and yet more cash will be diverted from seniors' art classes and day camps to law enforcement.

This situation only makes the private security cops we see patrolling neighbourhoods at a frugal 30,000 smackeroos a year look very tempting.

Perhaps councillors should do a little arm-twisting of their own and threaten this fat-cat police union with a contracting-out scenario.

Of course, there are massive accountability problems with free-enterprise policing and you wouldn't really want to go there. But exactly what kind of public control do we have with Bromell's footstamping?

What better way for council to send a message then by replacing Judy Sgro, when she leaves for the federal ranks, with a real kick-ass on the police services board. My vote is for Kyle Rae. Now, he'd make a Pilsbury Dough Boy out of Bromell.

Toronto Police clippings… [Fiona Stewart]

Created: October 8, 2000
Last modified: October 8, 2000
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