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TORONTO POLICE SERVICES BOARD

REPORT

June 17, 2015

To:

Members
Toronto Police Services Board

From:

John Tory
Mayor and Board Member

Subject:

NEW POLICY ON POLICE-COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENTS

Recommendation:
It is recommended:
1. that the Board support a permanent cancellation of carding as defined herein;
2. that the Chiefs decision to continue the suspension of carding be extended indefinitely or
until such time as a new policy is approved and operationalized;
3. that the Board work closely with the Province as it develops new regulations regarding
police-community engagements and submit a set of guiding principles for consideration;
4. that the Chair report back to the Board with a draft policy no later than two months after
legislative approval of any regulatory changes that aligns with those regulatory changes;
5. that the Board work with the Chief, PACER Advisory Committee, community
representatives, the Toronto Police Association, the Senior Officers Association, and other
relevant stakeholders to establish this new policy; and
6. that on an expedited basis, the Chief provide the Board information on the historical data
questions outlined in this report, which include:
a. What are the legal and practical implications for purging historical data?
b. What are the legal and practical implications for purging data that is in no way related
to any past or pending criminal investigation?
c. What was the rationale for purging the Master Names Index system on a monthly basis
of all carding information older than one year and one month prior to 2008?
d. What is the legal and technical process of transferring all historical information to an
independent third-party agency, such as the Office of the Information & Privacy
Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) to keep secure but not purge?
e. What would be the legal, financial and technical implications of developing an
application system for Service members to apply to search the database if it was held
by an independent third-party agency based on the public safety purpose definition?

Financial Implications:
There are no financial implications from this report.
Background/Purpose:
On June 7, 2015, I made a public statement as Mayor of the City of Toronto and as a Member of
the Toronto Police Services Board of my intention to seek the cancellation of the practice of
carding and to begin the process of developing a new policy for police-community engagements.
I will also seek to further the work already begun by Chief Saunders of establishing strict measures
to deal with existing data previously collected as part of carding.
Discussion:
The practice of carding is the subject of profound concern in our community and that concern
has been growing. Despite the good-faith intentions of TPS members in their encounters with the
public, the degree to which carding had a discriminatory impact on minority groups has led to
an unacceptable erosion of public trust and confidence in the TPS.
While I was part of a process in recent months intended to reform carding, it became clear to me
that incremental, mediated change was not achieving adequate, timely progress on a practice that
has become seen as illegitimate, discriminatory and hurtful. Accordingly, I came to the conclusion
that a preferred approach would be to cancel carding permanently and start with a clean slate.
On June 17, 2015, Yasir Naqvi, Ontarios Minister of Community Safety & Correctional Services,
announced that the provincial government would consult and implement regulatory changes on
police-community engagements. As I understand it, their intention is to unify the manner in which
encounters, often referred to as street checks in other municipal jurisdictions, is governed and
practiced. Any regulatory changes would not be introduced until the fall of 2015. This underlines
the need for this Board to proceed with its own work outlined herein and to be an active part of the
provincial process at the same time.
I am therefore requesting my fellow Board members to approve the recommendations and endorse
the guiding principles in this report. Using any Provincial regulatory changes as a foundation, the
Board must establish a policy that will provide for better policing that is both protective of the
fundamental rights of citizens and effective in maintaining safe communities.
What is Carding?
There needs to be clarity around the definition of carding and how it relates to police-community
engagements more broadly. Ive called for a cancellation of carding for reasons already outlined
in this document. However, I dont believe we can have a situation where there is no policy
regarding police-community engagements. First, we want police officers engaging with the public.
Second, there must be oversight of police-community engagements to ensure accountability.

To me carding is defined as follows:


1. the random stopping of citizens not engaged in or suspected of criminal activity for the
purposes of gathering information; and
2. the recording by Service members of those engagements and the retention of that
information.
Both the random stopping of otherwise innocent citizens and the recording and retention of that
data has eroded public trust without seeming to contribute to greater public safety.
My belief is the Board must eliminate carding and, using any Provincial regulatory changes as
a foundation, craft a new policy that governs police-community engagements. In doing so, we
must provide the TPS with intelligence-based tools that allow Service members to do their jobs
and keep Toronto safe, but do not infringe on citizens fundamental rights protected under both
the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) and the Ontario Human Rights Code
(Code). Finding this balance will take patience and commitment, but this is a task we all must
undertake together, working with the Ontario government, Chief Saunders, the PACER Advisory
Committee, community representatives, the TPA, and the Senior Officers Association.
Guiding Principles
Both the Community Contacts and Community Engagements policies, approved by the Board in
2014 and 2015 respectively, outlined similar principles ensuring bias-free policing; ensuring the
protection of individual rights and freedoms; and outlining when a stop and/or recording is
appropriate. The principles are relevant for establishing a new policy that will eliminate arbitrary
stops and ensure that fundamental rights are protected while at the same time enabling intelligenceled policing.
The principles that the Board should forward to the Province for consideration are:

improve police-community interactions and eliminate the collection, retention, use and
disclosure of irrelevant personal information;
identify the much more limited circumstances in which it is appropriate to initiate an
engagement or create a record of said engagement;
improve community confidence in the Services ability to provide bias-free policing;
enhance awareness of human rights and civil liberties under the Charter, the Code and Board
policies;
ensure provision of more frequent and more effective training on how to conduct community
engagements in a way that promotes community trust;
ensure effective oversight of community engagements by the Board through periodic,
independent evaluation and public reporting of contact-related data; and
achieve this within the context of continued effective policing and the maintenance of safe
communities.

4
Record Management: Data Collection & Retention
There are serious legal and practical implications in either purging or maintaining historical data
collected as part of past practices. The Board cannot wade into a proper discussion or make a
decision on how to deal with this data until these legal and practical questions are answered. What
I am recommending is that the Chief consult with legal staff and relevant stakeholders on the
following questions and report back to the August 2015 public Board meeting so the Board can
make an informed decision on what should be done:
1. What are the legal and practical implications for purging historical data?
2. What are the legal and practical implications for purging data that in no way relate to any
past or pending criminal investigation?
3. What was the rationale of purging the Master Names Index system on a monthly basis of all
carding information older than one year and one month prior to 2008?
4. What is the legal and technical process of transferring all historical information to an
independent third-party agency, such as the Office of the Information & Privacy
Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) to keep secure but not purge?
5. What would be the legal, financial and technical implications of developing an application
system for Service members to apply to search the database if it was held by an independent
third-party agency based on the public safety purpose definition?
Conclusion:
We can start with a clean slate and implement a policy that affirms Toronto as a leader when it
comes to diversity, inclusion and respect, as well as excellent, effective and respectful policing. I
hope that you, my fellow Board members, support these recommendations as I believe they will
lead to a new policy that will help keep crime low in every neighbourhood in this city, protect the
fundamental rights of every citizen, and ensure the police continue to have the confidence and
support of the communities they serve.
Respectfully submitted,

John Tory
Mayor and Board Member

A:\ new policy on police-community engagements.doc