The Toronto Police Services Board is inviting the public to participate in the development of their new race-based data collection policy.
In the draft policy, the Board recognizes the importance of collecting, analyzing and publicly reporting on data related to race in order to reduce bias and discrimination, identify disparities in service and inform evidence-based decision-making and public accountability. They also note the policy should not be used to stereotype any communities, and that individuals’ privacy must be protected.
Members of the public are invited to share their input by completing this survey.
The draft policy proposes the following changes:
- Race-based data would be collected by Toronto Police Service (TPS) members in all stops, searches, use of force incidents, charges, arrests and apprehensions under the Mental Health Act or Child and Family Services Act.
- A community advisory working group representing Toronto’s racialized communities with expertise in race-based data collection would be created to consult with TPS in the development and implementation of a framework to analyze and publicly report on the data collected.
- TPS would submit annual reports to the Board including an analysis of the data collected, identification of any trends and racial disparities, evaluation of compliance with the policy, training needs and key performance indicators to monitor the appropriateness and effectiveness of police interactions.
- An academic or other external, independent organization would conduct analysis of the race-based data collected and report its independent findings and recommendations to the Board.
- Comprehensive and adequately-resourced training would be developed and delivered to all TPS members in consultation with the community, including those with knowledge about issues of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability, with an emphasis on those with lived experience.
The policy would be implemented in a phased approach, starting with the collection of race-based data in all use of force reports effective Jan. 1, 2020.
The draft policy was developed by the Board’s Anti-Racism Advisory Panel (ARAP), which represents a diverse group of community members, mental health advocates, academics, service providers and police officers. ARAP is meeting with stakeholders, community groups and subject matter experts before the final policy is presented to the Board for approval in September 2019.
CMHA Ontario called for the collection of race-based data in a recent report co-authored with the Community of Interest (COI) for Racialized Populations and Mental Health and Addictions. The report also recommended culturally-competent and trauma-informed services and care within the justice system, including specialized training for police officers.