Toronto police will hold 4 public consultations, via Zoom, amid search for new chief

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The city's police services board will hold a series of public consultations to inform its decision on who will become the next chief. The force has been without a permanent chief since Mark Saunders retired last June. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
The city's police services board will hold a series of public consultations to inform its decision on who will become the next chief. The force has been without a permanent chief since Mark Saunders retired last June. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

Toronto will hold four public consultations via Zoom to help guide the selection of the city's next police chief.

The force has been without a permanent chief since last June, when Mark Saunders stepped down. James Ramer is serving as interim chief.

The Toronto Police Services Board has previously said it wants to select a new chief in 2021, but issued a news release Tuesday saying the ongoing search is the "most extensive" it has ever done.

Toronto is looking at a series of reforms when it comes to policing after citizens raised serious concerns last summer, primarily about anti-Black racism. The board agreed to 81 measures aimed at boosting police accountability and transparency, however city council voted down a motion to partially defund the service.

The agreed-to measures include commitments to build better relationships with marginalized communities, improve ways police deal with mentally ill people, implement new use of force guidelines and to be transparent about how the next chief, who'll be expected to usher in many of the changes, is to be selected.

Environics Research has now been hired by the board to launch virtual public consultations on the following dates:

  • Etobicoke — Tuesday, March 30 at 6-8 p.m.

  • Downtown Toronto — Wednesday, March 31 at 6-8 p.m.

  • Scarborough — Wednesday, April 7 at 6-8 p.m.

  • North York — Tuesday, April 13 at 6-8. p.m.

The board says its goal is "ensuring that a diverse range of voices are heard" during the selection process.