By Giuseppe Valiante The Canadian Press Sun., Feb. 10, 2019 MONTREAL—As police forces across Canada weigh the merits of equipping officers with body cameras, the country’s second largest city has ruled them out as costly and ineffective. Alex Norris, chairman of Montreal’s public security committee, says outfitting the city’s 3,000 front line police officers with cameras is not worth the investment. Montreal last week became the latest city in North America to decide against making the cameras standard police equipment. What has been described as a tool to increase transparency in the police force and improve relations between officers and citizens is “not ready for prime time” Norris said. “Often, the cases when you would most want the video are the cases when you would be least likely to get it,” he said in an interview, referring to the results of a $3.4 million pilot project that saw 78 officers wear cameras … [Read more...] about ‘Not ready for prime time’: Montreal rejects body cameras for police officers
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By Jim Rankin Staff Reporter Sun., Nov. 18, 2018 It is a number. A number that grew incrementally and in jumps, over days and weeks and months this year, with the stopping of each human heart, each of which belonged to someone who was loved by somebody. With Toronto’s latest homicide, a shooting on Sunday in the West Hill neighbourhood of Scarborough, the number has become a record. With 44 days to go in 2018, Toronto has this year seen more homicides, 90, than any other year in the city’s history. I’ve covered crime, policing and injustices in the justice system for more than a quarter century. I’ve seen how policies intended to save lives are born from moments like this — and often result in minor improvements, or nothing at all. This number —should remind us how much we already know about what causes violent crime, and how to stop it. Article Continued Below And, what to avoid. Toronto lawyer Annamaria … [Read more...] about What Toronto’s homicide record means — and what we can do about it
By Peter Edwards Staff Reporter Wed., Nov. 14, 2018 There’s a police spin on the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” It goes, “It takes a village to catch a killer.” “The major way you’re going to solve (a homicide) is through the public,” said D. Kim Rossmo, an internationally respected criminologist and former Vancouver detective inspector. “They have to have trust in the police.” With the shooting death of Yohannes Brhanu, 22, Toronto on Wednesday matched a record for homicides in a single year, at 89, with more than six weeks to spare. By the Star’s count, police have not yet made an arrest in 34 of those killings, excluding a single apparent murder-suicide. The Star does not know whether arrests are pending in any these killings. In at least seven, police have issued a warrant for one or more known suspects who have not yet been arrested. Toronto police say the force has a 67 … [Read more...] about Dozens of killings in Toronto’s record-tying year remain unsolved — so why do some killers avoid justice?
By Ilya Bañares Staff Reporter Fri., Sept. 21, 2018 Mark Pugash, head of corporate communications for the Toronto Police Service, will retire after 15 years on the job. Police said in a Friday statement that Pugash will be leaving his post effective Sept. 27 after a career of more than 30 years in media relations advising three police services, including London’s Metropolitan Police Services. “Working for one of the largest municipal police services in North America has been a highlight of my career,” Pugash said. “While I look forward to my retirement, I am proud of my service and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with the professional and dedicated members of the Toronto Police.” Police spokesperson Meaghan Gray will take over the position until further notice. Police chief Mark Saunders thanked Pugash for his work. “I wish him well in his retirement and, on behalf of the Toronto Police Service, offer … [Read more...] about Toronto Police communications director Mark Pugash to retire
By Allan Woods Quebec Bureau Wed., April 4, 2018 MONTREAL—Suggestions the Montreal Police should change its uniform to accommodate Sikh and Muslim officers have stoked the embers of a fiery debate in Quebec. Montreal politician Marvin Rotrand is urging the city to allow Sikh cops to wear turbans and Muslim officers to wear hijabs while on duty in order to attract more diverse recruits and build a force that better reflects the population it serves. He received an unexpected boost this week. “It’s something we have to think about,” said Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante, who was elected last fall. “We know that other Canadian cities have done it so I’m very open to the proposition.” Plante’s comments were only a passive endorsement. Though most big-city police forces, the RCMP and the Canadian Armed Forces have already adopted inclusive uniform policies, she has not set any actual change in motion in Montreal. A … [Read more...] about Proposed police uniform changes set off alarm bells in Quebec