The Toronto Police Service releases 2022 operating budget request
By Blue Line Staff
By Blue Line Staff
Jan. 4, 2022, Toronto, Ont. – The Toronto Police Service has released its operating budget request for 2022 that will help the Service continue to do more in the areas that matter most to Torontonians, without increasing the Service’s share of the City of Toronto’s overall budget. The request of a 2.3 per cent increase will allow the Service to invest in some key priorities, mainly through reallocation of existing resources.
“As one of the fastest growing cities in North America, Toronto is changing rapidly and we need to be where Torontonians want us the most,” said Chief of Police James Ramer. “Throughout 2021, we heard firsthand from members of the public about where more support is needed. This feedback has been top of mind as I laid out my priorities for the Service in 2022.”
The Service’s modest budget increase can help address areas that matter most to the people of Toronto, which include:
- Growing the Neighbourhood Community Officer program – which currently has 178 officers in 38 of the city’s 158 neighbourhoods – by redeploying resources to help increase the number of officers working in and with communities to make Toronto safer.
- Supporting Vision Zero – with a group of 18 officers fully dedicated to traffic law enforcement – to make our roads safer for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. This team has issued more than 41,000 traffic tickets in 2021 alone.
- Expanding the number of police officers who receive enhanced mental health training so we can better respond to people in crisis. As the Service continues to find new ways to work with community partners on various alternative service delivery models, such as the Crisis Call Diversion Pilot Project with the Gerstein Centre and the Community Crisis Support Service Pilot with the City, they are committed to continued partnerships in this area, which began with their Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams 20 years ago.
- Increasing resources dedicated to preventing and investigating hate crimes. Toronto experienced a more than 50 per cent spike in reported hate crimes in 2020 – an increase that continued in 2021. In order to better support the city’s vulnerable communities, the Service has expanded its dedicated Hate Crime Unit and is working collaboratively with its Community Consultative Committees (CCCs), including the Service’s Black CCC, LGBTQ2S+ CCC and new Jewish CCC, who advise the Chief directly on how they can better serve their communities.
- Re-introducing a city-wide dedicated investigative team mandated to work with police partners from across the Province to address emerging serious crime trends such as a significant increase in auto thefts.
- Strengthening relationships with the communities they serve by continuing to implement comprehensive police reform and the recommendations from Judge Epstein’s Missing and Missed Review, which can reduce victimization and save lives.
While the Service has worked hard to do more with less – including reducing their headcount by more than 400 since 2010 – improvements in the areas that Torontonians have outlined as priorities requires a modest investment, and one that would also allow the Service to maintain its current level of service and resources.
“Our proposal is conscious of the City’s priorities along with other pressures – like rising inflation and population growth – and balances them with the imperative of providing policing services that Torontonians want and deserve,” said Chief Ramer.