The Toronto Police Service Releases 2021 Operating Budget Request,
Proposal holds the line at 0% increase as reform and modernization continues
Broadcast time: 15:20
Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Unit: Corporate Communications
TORONTO, January 6, 2021 – The Toronto Police Service (Service) today released its operating budget request for 2021, holding the line at a 0% increase over last year’s budget, even as modernization efforts across the Service are quickly proceeding.
“This year, we’re committed to doing more without asking for more,” said Chief of Police James Ramer. “This budget balances our obligation to provide the policing required of our growing, world-class city, while recognizing the realities of the world today: Torontonians want to see a reformed, efficient Service, and we intend to deliver on that regardless of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The budget request totals $1,076.2M, a reflection of the direction set out by the Toronto Police Services Board, responsive to police reform, and informed by public input and feedback. Accordingly, the Service will be making significant enhancements to community safety by reallocating officers and resources from other areas to the following key areas:
Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT): Expanding this highly impactful program by increasing coverage from 10 hours a day to a 24-7 crisis call response model, through the deployment of 11 additional MCIT officers to Priority Response units located across the city. This program expansion and additional training is scheduled to occur Q1 2021.
Crisis Call Diversion Program: A new proof-of-concept initiative that places community crisis workers in our 911 communication centre, to help divert calls to a community agency where police response is not required. The program frees officers to attend other urgent calls and emphasizes de-escalation approaches to crisis calls where appropriate. This diversion program is in addition to other collaborative efforts with the City on alternative service delivery of crisis calls.
Neighbourhood Community Officers: The Service has received enthusiastic feedback on this program and plans to expand it by up to 10 additional neighbourhoods.
Road Safety and Vision Zero: The creation of a fully dedicated team of 18 officers focused on road safety and Vision Zero priorities.
Gun & Gang Prevention: Assigning specialized officers focused on reducing gang membership and violence through an approach centered on education, prevention, intervention, and suppression activities in partnership with impacted communities.
Increased Focus on Hate Crime Teams: In response to a concerning 42% increase in hate crimes, the Service is assigning additional officers to increase investigative capacity and strengthen the relationship between the Service and vulnerable communities.
Chief Ramer added, “Fighting crime and keeping people safe will always be our singular focus. These reallocations reflect what we’ve heard loud and clear from Torontonians over the past year, and we are making real progress in responding to the public’s needs and expectations across a range of issues.”
Achieving a flat year over year budget in 2021, required the Service to absorb $46M in budget pressures (including $17M to meet collective agreement obligations) and will result in 50 fewer officers and 90 fewer civilians being funded this year.
Since last June, the Service has been working intensively with the Board, the City and other key stakeholders to implement the 81 recommendations for police reform aimed at improving public trust, community relationships and accountability.
“I am accelerating the implementation of all 81 recommendations because modernizing the Service ahead of schedule will help us become more responsive to the needs of Toronto’s diverse communities,” said Chief Ramer.
Implementation costs for police reform initiatives will be funded from the Service’s modernization reserve and as a result, no additional funds have been added to the Service’s budget request for this vital and ongoing work.
For more news, visit https://www.torontopolice.on.ca/budget/.
For more news, visit TPSnews.ca.
Corporate Communications for the Office of the Chief and Finance & Business Management