Report suggests changing Ontario laws to cut paid-duty policing costs | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Report suggests changing Ontario laws to cut paid-duty policing costs

April 12, 2016 - 10:18 AM

TORONTO - A new report says Ontario laws should be changed so that police officers aren't the only ones allowed to direct traffic — a move it says could save Toronto taxpayers a bundle.

Under current provincial rules, only police officers are authorized to direct traffic and close highways, which often means hiring off-duty officers to supervise construction sites and street festivals.

Toronto officers working so-called paid duty earned $25,540,792 last year, with the force bringing in an additional $1,419,049 for equipment costs and $3,842,790 in administration fees.

The report, prepared by city staff, says it would cost less to hire special constables, peace officers and other trained officials to perform the same duties.

It doesn't say just how much taxpayers would stand to save, but notes city divisions and agencies spent $1.49 million in paid duty last year, nearly five per cent of what the program brought in.

The report will be presented at next week's meeting of the council executive committee.

The controversial paid-duty program has been a political hot potato for decades.

No one seems to know when it started, but mentions of the program date as far back as the 1920s, when Toronto's then-police chief said it would likely be rescinded.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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