August 25th, 2012
Councillors are taking another shot at trying to reform paid duty policing costs.
Late Monday night, Councillor Josh Matlow got council to vote 33 to 2 to ask the Toronto Police Services Board to talk to the province about amending legislation so the city could adopt a paid duty model similar to Vancouver.
Council also asked the city manager to meet with the province and ask for the city to be allowed to consider all options related to paid duty, including the Vancouver model.
Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford were the only two councillors to vote against the request.
After the vote, Matlow said his motion defined “cutting waste, finding efficiencies, taking a strong stand and respecting taxpayers.”
“The result was that the only two members of council who voted against it were the Ford brothers,” Matlow told the Toronto Sun. “Council took a stand, they couldn’t even take a stand on the very values that they purport to believe in.”
The St. Paul’s (Ward 22) councillor argued the Vancouver model would allow the city or any other organization requiring paid duty to use civilianized peace officers earning around $30 an hour rather than Toronto cops earning $68 an hour for paid duty jobs.
“We need to push back to the police, take a stand. We need permissions from the province to be able to do this but we can’t give up,” Matlow said.
“Nothing drives people crazier than when they pay a lot of money for taxes and there are hard decisions made at council to cut programs or services but they see their money paying a police officer standing next to a hole.”
Councillor Ford said the decision on paid duty should be up to the police.
“I believe it is up to the police to decide not up to city council,” he said. “They’re more than capable — the police board and the senior administration of the police.
“They should take the initiative, we can’t stick our hands into every single department here,” he added.
Ford wouldn’t comment on whether the current paid duty system works now.
In the lead up to the vote, several councillors called for action on paid duty costs.
“Let’s tackle it,” Councillor Ron Moeser told council.
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