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Canada Toronto police roll out 'wholesale change' in scheduling officers' shifts

07:20  28 january  2020
07:20  28 january  2020 Source:   cbc.ca

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The Toronto Police Association is currently participating in discussions over shift schedule changes in 54 and 55 divisions but Tory said that “when the rubber hits the road,” McCormack has mostly been unwilling to discuss wholesale changes that would help the TPS ensure its officers are deployed in

a man wearing a suit and tie: Acting Supt. Greg Watts, spokesperson for Toronto police's strategy management unit, said the new shift schedule is 'rooted' in data about demand for service, with start times tailored to what makes the most sense and having officers available when they are needed the most.© CBC Acting Supt. Greg Watts, spokesperson for Toronto police's strategy management unit, said the new shift schedule is 'rooted' in data about demand for service, with start times tailored to what makes the most sense and having officers available when they are needed the most.

The Toronto Police Service is changing the way it schedules the shifts of its officers as part of a year-long pilot project that began on Monday.

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

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Almost every week I'm contacted by police officers , sheriff's deputies, and patrolmen about 10-hour shifts . They believe that 10-hour shifts would benefit themselves and their fellow officers . I believe there are two reasons they think 10s would be an improvement over their current 8-hour schedule .

Acting Supt. Greg Watts, spokesperson for Toronto police's strategy management unit, said the new modernized schedule affects the average officer the most. He said it is a "wholesale change" in his or her shift schedule.

The pilot project will be monitored to ensure it is making a positive difference in terms of officer wellness and morale as well as public safety, he added.

The new shift schedule is "rooted" in data about demand for service, with start times tailored to what makes the most sense, having officers available when they are needed the most, he added.

In eight Toronto police divisions, officers will work 12-hour shifts, with five days on and four days off, followed by four days on and five days off. In three Toronto police divisions, officers will work 11-hour shifts, with seven days on and seven days off. Formerly, there was one schedule that was a compressed work week.

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A Toronto police officer is being commended for not shooting the man suspected of carrying out a deadly van attack. More people will be dealing with de-escalation than pulling out their firearms in most police agencies in Toronto ,” he explained. “It is a focal point of our training piece.”

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According to the worldwide standard model of policing, 70 per cent of an officer's should be spent on answering radio calls, Watts said.

"Thirty per cent of your time should be proactive policing, whether that is enforcing the highway traffic act, by getting out of your car, being intelligence-led in our visibility within our communities."

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said in the release: "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."

Watts agreed, saying: "You've heard Chief Saunders say many times that we don't necessarily have a people issue, we have a deployment issue."

New schedule follows pilot project at 41 Division last year

A pilot project in 41 Division in Scarborough in 2019 that used the new schedule for a year paved the way for the change, Watts said.

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Toronto police are deploying more officers during the overnight hours for the summer to combat the gun The chief said the shift changes will affect police stations across the city, but the enforcement plan may change to READ MORE: Toronto officer sends email calling out mayor over gun violence.

Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, said the schedule that is being tested in the pilot project is based on evidence and data. He said the association collaborated with the service to create the schedule.

"When we look at shift work, there's no such thing as a perfect schedule," McCormack said. "But the results are amazing. It's better for the public, it's better for our members, and it's better for the police service."

a man standing in front of a building: Two Toronto police officers talk at the edge of a crime scene in the city. One holds a roll of police tape. The new shift schedule will affect the average officer the most.© Jeremy Cohn/CBC Two Toronto police officers talk at the edge of a crime scene in the city. One holds a roll of police tape. The new shift schedule will affect the average officer the most.

At least one community group, however, is concerned about the pilot project.

'I know it won't fly with all community groups'

Joseph Smith, co-founder of Generation Chosen, a non-profit group that works primarily with at-risk youth in the Jane and Finch area, said the new schedule could have a negative impact on his community.

"I know it won't fly with all community groups," Smith said.

"The presence of police officers, just generally constantly surveilling the neighborhood, it doesn't bode well with the community residents. It makes them feel uncomfortable, it makes them feel like where they're living isn't safe, or isn't good, and it honestly makes them feel negative about their own neighbourhood," Smith said.

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"It impacts them in such a dramatic way."

Smith said it is about clarity and transparency. Members of community need to know what police intend to do with their proactive policing time, he added.

The Toronto Police say the new schedule should give officers more time to engage with communities.

a person standing in a room: Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, is interviewed by CBC Reporter Greg Ross. 'It's better for the public, it's better for our members, and it's better for the police service,' McCormack says of the new schedule.© CBC Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, is interviewed by CBC Reporter Greg Ross. 'It's better for the public, it's better for our members, and it's better for the police service,' McCormack says of the new schedule.

Toronto cops find submachine gun in man's bedroom, but charges dropped because of rushed search at end of shift .
Charges against a man who had an Uzi submachine gun in his bedroom have been dropped because Toronto police officers took a shortcut to searching his house when their long night shift was almost over. It was 6:53 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2017, when officers Ben Caunter and Scott Rogers arrived at Elvis Iniguez’s home and knocked on the door.  It was 6:53 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2017, when officers Ben Caunter and Scott Rogers arrived at Elvis Iniguez’s home and knocked on the door. It was seven minutes before the scheduled end of the last of a week of overnight shifts.

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