Family Day Protest: TPA launches a no-confidence vote against Chief Saunders
The partners and children of Toronto police officers will be spending their Family Day this upcoming Monday protesting because they say their loved ones in danger.
The protest will be held outside the Toronto Police headquarters on College St.
The demonstrators are upset about “The way forward plan” which includes cutbacks to the police force to save money.
There is a three-year freeze on hiring.
The plan will result in fewer officers in cruisers and will swap out first responses for priority responses (shooting calls and bank robberies).
There has also been problems with 911 dispatch.
“They are burning out,” said Jelena Leung, wife of a Toronto police officer on Newstalk 1010 this morning.
Leung said that about 100 spouses and their children will take part in the demonstration.
Leung said they want to make a point to police commanders and politicians that officers need more support and are being burned out.
“The mental exhaustion is a real problem,” she said.
Leung said her husband is so worried about leaving his friends without support he won’t call in sick even when he really is.
— Mike McCormack (@TPAca) January 23, 2018
In addition, the Toronto Police union is holding a “non-confidence vote” against their Police Chief, Mark Saunders.
TPA president Mike McCormack says a non-confidence vote against police chief Saunders was launched out of frustration on the part of the membership.
“We’re going to keep going until we get a resolution that protect the public and our membership,” said McCormack in a Facebook post.
The online voting opened yesterday at 3p.m. and it will close at 11:59p.m. on Feb.21.
An internal TPA’s memo reads, “despite numerous attempts by the association to address relief measures for our members, the Chief has continuously failed to put forward any meaningful solutions to relieve the stress on you.”
Chief Saunders has not commented on the matter, however Toronto Mayor John Tory made a statement about the TPA vote saying he “has complete confidence in Chief Mark Saunders.”
“The chief is dedicated to addressing the concerns which always arise when significant change takes place,” said Mayor Tory.
Tory said that Toronto is the safest city in North America and it is thanks to the hard work of the members of the Toronto Police Service.
“I remain committed to the plan to modernize the Toronto Police Service and know the Chief is dedicated to addressing the concerns which always arise when significant change takes place,” the statement reads.
Tory said that responsibilities are being taken on by the city so police officers can be deployed where they are needed most instead of directing traffic or answering “noise calls.”
However, Mayor Tory said that more than 80 new police officers are being hired and staffing is being significantly increased at 911 dispatch.
“I strongly believe that continuing constructive discussion is far preferable to billboards and online votes as a way to address genuinely held concerns on the part of our police officers,” said Tory