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Toronto police starts modernized shift schedule pilot


February 12, 2020
By Staff

On Jan. 27, the Toronto Police Service launched a one-year pilot of alternative shift schedules to deploy officers when they are needed most and to support wellness among service members.

“We have consulted experts, looked at the data and listened to our civilian and sworn members in designing a pilot that will result in our resources being deployed where and when they are needed most,” said Chief Mark Saunders. “This pilot is the result of a strong and sustained partnership between the Toronto Police Service, Toronto Police Services Board and Toronto Police Association to better serve the communities we are sworn to serve and protect.”

It is the first comprehensive change of the deployment system of service members in over 35 years, TPS says, and will result in a new shift scheduling process that aligns police resources with the needs of the community.

The pilot is the result of a modernization recommendation of The Way Forward Action Plan to create a more efficient model for scheduling that allows for flexibility in deploying resources and will support the service in moving towards a more “proactive” policing model.

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The pilot will evaluate alternative work schedule models chosen by service members based on how well they deploy officers when they are needed most as well as the preference of service members.

“The level of collaboration between the Toronto Police Service, Toronto Police Services Board and the Toronto Police Association was unprecedented,” adds Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association. “How the shift schedules were selected was key to the success of this project. We engaged our members in the process from the beginning, providing them with the information and data they needed to make an intelligent decision. Never in the history of the Toronto Police Association has the membership been so well informed and involved in a logical, transparent, and open decision-making process where their personal preferences were considered. For the first time, the choice to change shift schedules was in the hands of the membership. During the upcoming pilot, I look forward to continued collaboration and co-operation with the Toronto Police Service and Toronto Police Services Board in the next phase of our work together.”