Toronto Police Service Board unanimously approves 2.3 pct increased 2022 operating budget
Toronto/IBNS: The 2022 budget proposals for the Toronto Police Service (TPS) operating and capital budgets had been unanimously approved by the TPS Board's special meeting essentially allowing maintenance of its current staffing levels and promoting important police reform work for community safety.
Although there is an increase of 2.3 percent over the previous year’s budget, it is still lower than inflation with a constraint approach resulting in a 0% budget increase in three of the last five years.
The budget proposal also does not show an increase in the Service’s share of the City of Toronto’s overall budget but the strategic reallocation of existing resources allows for innovative enhancements in a number of priority areas.
The priority areas include implementation of recommendations from Missing and Missed Report to improve the Service’s ability to investigate missing persons in our city, strengthen relationships with the communities we serve, reduce victimization, and save lives by enhancing the Neighbourhood Community Officer (NCO) Program with a mandate to build relationships to solve problems within their neighborhoods and the communities they serve.
Oher priority areas in which the proposed budget would be concentrated are Continued Roll-out of Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Program to increase transparency, enhance accountability for rights protections to improve law enforcement practices by additional training, supervision or discipline; and partnering with the City of Toronto to provide enhanced mental health training to more police officers with a focus on Improvement in Response to People Dealing with Mental Health and Addictions Issues.
“The Board continues to look to the public to define policing objectives and priorities in this City, incorporating community voices into our approach to ensuring community safety for members of all of Toronto’s communities, as we remain focused on transformation and innovation,” the Board’s Executive Director and Chief of Staff, Ryan Teschner, said in a press release.
Some of the ways in which the Service and Board have gathered input from Torontonians include the Board’s July 2020 virtual town hall meetings, monthly Board meetings, race-based data information sessions, community policing information sessions, independent public consultations for selecting the next Chief of Police, Community Policing Liaison Committees for each Division, and Community Consultative Committees.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)