There were two developments at a recent Toronto Police Services Board which CMHA Ontario was following closely.
On Thursday, November 7, 2013 Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair had asked the police services board to consider expanding the supply of conducted energy weapons (CEWs), or tasers, for the police service. He was asking for 200 more CEWs at a cost $320,000,plus an additional $66,000 for training.
The board turned down the Chief’s request after it’s mental health sub-committee recommended to not expand CEW use.
The mental health sub-committee’s recommendation was included in its report which provided an overview of a community consultation held in September on CEWs. Community members came forward with a mostly negative responses, asking the board not to approve any expansion of CEWs. Read the sub-committee’s full report(PDF format; beginning on p. 13)
Board chair Alok Mukherjee believes the board should also wait to hear the recommendations coming out of the current inquest into three police shootings of individuals in mental health crisis.