Correcting The Record

TPS Spokesperson Mark Pugash’s Comments

False

“Mike McCormack is picking and choosing and he’s ignoring a lot of facts that get in the way of the story. He also ignores last week’s Statistics Canada report where the crime severity index shows that Toronto is, by far, the safest big city in Canada.”

Mark Pugash
CP24 Live at 5

August 1, 2017

True

While Mr. Pugash relies on a Statistics Canada snapshot the number of people shot in Toronto continues to climb.

There have been 319 shooting victims year-to-date compared to 316 at the end of July 2016. It would appear that Mr. Pugash is ignoring Statistics Canada when it indicates a 103% increase in reported firearm offences in 2016 compared to 2005.

It is true that police-recorded crime has been on a steady decline over the past few decades. However, that trend is slowing and violent crime is on the rise. The fact is, while TPA members are tied up on calls related to gun violence and other emergencies, calls stack up in the pending queue.

The rest of the City often waits hours for an officer to respond to their emergency. This is the problem in 2017.

False

“We know from Police Officers who leave Toronto to go to other Police Services it’s because of the shift system.”

Mark Pugash
CP24 Live at 5

August 1, 2017

True

The TPA conducts exit interviews. The Service does not.

A combined 59% of respondents indicated that their decision to leave was based on poor management and/or the direction the Service is taking.

The percentage of departing officers citing shift work as their reason for leaving? A paltry 1%.

False

“Mike McCormack has the ability to sit down with the Police Services Board, ’cause this is a collective agreement issue, and come up with a better shift system that will not only transform the life (sic) of his members but also allow the deployment of police officers where they are most needed when they are most needed. He’s chosen not to do so.”

Mark Pugash
CP24 Live at 5

August 1, 2017

True

The TPA was at the table for these discussions in 2016 (TPA at the Table) but further meetings were postponed at the request of the Service.

We have been marginalized throughout the TTF process. Nevertheless, as a show of good will, the TPA along with the TPS Senior Officers Organization has AGAIN attempted to get this process back on track. In a letter to the Chief and the Chair late last week, we said the following:

“We therefore request a meeting jointly with you or your designates to start a process of truly being engaged while then being invited to participate in regular ongoing discussions to partner on the methods and solutions to these important issues we all face in modernizing the Toronto Police Service. We look forward to receiving your availability for this proposed meeting with some degree of urgency.”

Click here to read the full text of the TPA/SOO July 24, 2017 letter to Chief Saunders and Chair Pringle.

Click here to download PDF

Chief’s Comments on CP24’s “The Chief”

False

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the Association to sit down with the Board to look at our shift scheduling because that is a concern …………… So, now we’re stuck because we need that deployment piece and that deployment piece requires the Association and the Board to get together so they can start working on that shift scheduling.”

CP24 The Chief

July 25, 2017

True

This comment and other recent comments to the media by the Chief and Mayor paint the Association as obstructionist, refusing to come to the table to have these important discussions.

That is not true and both the Chief and Mayor know that.

In fact, the joint committee meetings of the two-officer car and shift schedule committees were postponed at the request of the Service.

And, after repeated attempts by the Association to secure a seat on the transformational committee, the committee begrudgingly conceded. However, the Association was not an equal partner. We were excluded from in-camera meetings where the meaningful discussions took place, and our role became one of “observer”.

False

“I’ve spoken to a lot of Officers. They’re interested in changing the schedule. In fact, the Officers I’ve spoke(n) to that have left the Service – one of the main reasons why they left because they like the schedules that the other agencies have. So, you know, it’s a matter of coming to the table, sitting down and working that particular nuance out.”

CP24 The Chief

July 25, 2017

True

Record numbers of TPA members are leaving Toronto for employment with other police services. In exit interviews conducted by the Association with members who resigned, the top three triggers for leaving are: morale issues, poor management and concerns with the direction of the Service.

In exit interviews with members who retired, 39% of the retirees surveyed listed the following as the key trigger in their decision to leave: poor management 32%, the direction of the Service 27%, political interference 18%, personal reasons 18% and lastly, shift work 1%.

Click here to download PDF

CHIEF'S COMMENTS

False

“What happens is, every year on average, we lose approximately 150 officers and about 90 of our civilians. That works out to about 250. Our target right now is about 270. That is not a mass exodus by any stretch of the imagination”

Chief Mark Saunders
CBC Metro Morning

July 12, 2017

True

This year alone, 283 of our members, including 179 officers, have departed or given notice they are leaving the Service. Ninety-eight members have resigned with almost 40% seeking employment with other police agencies. Just seven months into the calendar year and with five months to go, the number of separations to date has exceeded the total number of separations in 2016. Compared to historical trends, Chief Saunders, Mayor Tory and Chair Pringle, of the Toronto Police Services Board, know that this is an accelerated attrition rate.

Click here to hear the Chief’s comments.

False

“If I see a reduction in paid-duty attendance, then I’m going to say my men and women are burnt out, I’m not seeing that yet.”

Chief Mark Saunders
Newstalk 1010

July 11, 2017

True

Attendance at paid duties is not a reliable indicator of officer health and wellness. There is no correlation between attendance at paid duties and officer burnout.

The vast majority of TPA members do not participate in paid duties.

Our members’ burnout is real.

Recommendation #15 of the Modernization report, states that the paid duty system is not well understood and often puts the reputation of the Toronto Police Service at risk. The Service now only accepts paid duties where there is a risk to public safety or in situations where they are legislatively required.

Linking the issue of our members’ wellness to paid duties defies logic and is a feeble attempt by the Chief to ignore the cause of a deeply rooted problem.

Our members are burnt out!

Click here to download PDF

TPA AT THE TABLE

False

“I think it’s time they came to the table and acted as our partner in modernizing policing” the Mayor said.

Mayor John Tory
Toronto Star

July 12, 2017

True

“We have now attended three meetings. During the first two, we were excluded from significant portions of the meeting, as what we now understand to be the actual members of the Task Force (i.e., the voting members) met in camera for significant portions of time. The third meeting last Thursday saw the Association wasting the entire morning while being excluded from the rest of the Task Force’s deliberations. After two hours, I was told that we would not be included in any of the Task Force’s work at all that day.

Unfortunately, it has been made abundantly clear to us that you do not really want the Association to participate on meaningful terms in the real work of the Task Force.”

Letter from TPA President Mike McCormack to Mayor Tory and Chief Saunders dated March 29, 2016. (Click here to see full unanswered letter from TPA President)

False

“They’ve never come to the table even having agreed to do so several times to talk about their shifts which would help us to deploy people better and also contain budgets, they’ve never done that”

Mayor John Tory
Newstalk 1010

July 11, 2017

True

The Compressed Work Week Committee met February 9, 2016 and the Two-Officer Car Committee met February 11, 2016 and March 29, 2016. The TPA had come to the table to discuss shift schedules and two-officer cars. Subsequent meetings failed to occur between TPA Representatives, TPS Management and TPSB representatives City Councillors Shelley Carroll and Chin Lee. The opportunity to discuss these issues vanished after an email to the TPA from the Toronto Police Service which read, in part: “the parties have agreed that we will pause the meetings of the committee for the time being” pending the release of the interim report of the Transformational Task Force in June 2016.

No further meetings were scheduled.

Click here to download PDF

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About the TPA

The Toronto Police Association (“TPA”) was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization on December 3, 1956. Throughout its existence the TPA’s fundamental purpose has been to “protect those who protect others” and to promote the interests of its members in a variety of spheres. READ MORE

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Toronto, ON M1T 3V3, Canada
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