Toronto Police Service looking to move forward with full body scan pilot project
The Toronto Police Service (TPS) took the next step toward a six-month pilot project of body scan technology by releasing a Request for Expressions of Interest this week.
This technology will give officers the ability to locate evidence, contraband and/or items of concern without conducting a physical strip search, otherwise known as a Level 3 Search. It allows TPS to “ensure the safety of everyone involved while being more sensitive to the dignity of those being searched.”
Over the years, case law and oversight reviews — including one by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director in 2016 — has specifically touched on the use of, and justification for, strip searches.
On average, officers across TPS conduct approximately 20,000 Level 3 Searches every year. That works out to about 55 every day, according to the service.
A TPS project team has been exploring the feasibility of implementing this technology since August 2017 and has consulted with the Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the Special Investigations Unit, and the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.
Once a supplier has been selected and officers have been trained, it is expected the pilot will start in the fall, in 14 Division, which is at 350 Dovercourt Road.
A community information session will be held in the coming months.
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