Statement – Toronto Police Service Board

Statement regarding Chief Mark Saunders – Released February 22, 2018

The Board fully and unequivocally supports Chief Saunders.  The Board stands behind Chief Saunders.  The Board will continue to work with Chief Saunders to ensure that the Toronto Police Service is, and continues to be, an organization of excellence, and an organization committed to positive change and growth, and Toronto’s continued status as one of the safest big cities in the world.

We know that modernization of our police service is necessary.  We also know that it is difficult.  We are keenly aware of the challenges this substantial change poses for our members, both uniform and civilian, as well as their families.  But we also believe that the organization will emerge from this transformation stronger, more effective and more responsive to, and trusted by, the community.  We believe, too that it will ultimately be a better place to work for all of our members.  We want our members to be meaningfully invested in our transformation, voicing their opinions and suggestions throughout in a constructive way.  This has always been our position. This has not changed.

We know that the strength of the Toronto Police Service is in the men and women who, day in and day out, work tirelessly and with dedication to keep our city safe.  We are entirely committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our officers, consistent with the wishes of their family members.

We understand that the Toronto Police Association (TPA) strongly prefers the status quo.  The TPA has been invited to the table and we have sought its input from the outset.  Notwithstanding this reluctance to help bring about necessary change and modernization, we continue to seek opportunities to work constructively with the TPA and with the men and women of the Toronto Police Service in the cause of transforming and modernizing the Service itself and policing in our city.

The committed participation of the TPA in that process is, in our view, a more constructive approach to ensure consideration of the concerns of police officers than actions such as this vote, which do not achieve any positive results.