Thursday May 20, 1999


p. A 24.


Police shake-up needed

Conditions are as favourable as they're going to get for an overhaul of Toronto's top-heavy police force.

Chief David Boothby is set to retire in February. Two key executive positions — chief administrative officer and director of human resources — are vacant. The police union is calling for a shake-up. The mayor is on side.

We urge the police services board to seize the opportunity to tackle the management problems that have plagued the force for years.

Councillor Judy Sgro is asking the seven-member board today to approve the hiring of a consultant to come in and review the organization of the 7,000-member police department. She is also requesting a freeze on the appointments of new inspectors until the review is completed.

Her motion deserves the support of her often-discordant colleagues.

It looked as if they were in full agreement, last Thursday, when the police services board held an unscheduled meeting to discuss the idea of revamping the senior command structure. It considered cutting the number of deputy chiefs from six to three, getting rid of the entire inspector level and stripping the force of its responsibility to hire civilian personnel. Everyone acknowledged that changes were needed.

Since that time, however, the consensus has weakened. Some members of the board are under pressure from the senior ranks of the force to shelve the review. That would be a mistake. The need is clear and the timing couldn't be better.

The police budget isn't likely to grow much in the coming years. That means every dollar must be put to the best possible use.

Most Toronto taxpayers would rather see cops on the street than senior brass jockeying for advantage at police headquarters.

Toronto Police clippings… [Fiona Stewart]

Created: October 9, 2000
Last modified: October 9, 2000
J.D. Jane Doe, c/o Walnet Institute
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710