Toronto police chief allows officers to wear job action 'TPA' hats in 'spirit of solidarity'
A hat to be worn by Toronto police officers participating in job action is seen. (TPA)
Chris Herhalt, CTV News Toronto
Published Friday, September 15, 2017 10:44AM EDT
Toronto police chief Mark Saunders says he will put up with the latest job action from frontline officers —where they sport non-uniform “TPA” hats on duty — for a period of time and insists he is listening to their complaints.
“In the spirit of solidarity, I will allow you to wear the ball caps for a short period of time until I lawfully order you to return to your forage cap,” Saunders wrote in a memo to officers provided to CTV News Toronto from a police source.
On Thursday, police began sporting the hats as part of a job action, with Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack ordering the move, claiming the service had reneged on an earlier promise to hire 80 new constables this year.
McCormack also expressed concern over shortages of 911 operators and officers in acting supervisory roles who were promised promotions but have not yet received them.
Saunders said in his memo that the service has already received 116 applications for the 80 new constable positions, and he has asked Deputy Chief Shauna Coxon to review the number of 911 operators in service.
He added that he will ask the Toronto Police Services Board to approve all pending promotions “as soon as possible.”
“Many of you are wearing ball caps because you have been told that Command is not listening or not taking action. I have just made it clear to you that Command does listen, has and always will take action,” Saunders said.
He also added that in light of recent incidents including Thursday morning’s police-involved shooting of a stabbing suspect near Jane and Finch, he will ask the Board to approve more less-lethal weapons such as conducted energy weapons as soon as possible.