Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security Thursday, January 31, 2013 Chair

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security Thursday, January 31, 2013 Chair
Standing Committee on Public Safety and
National Security
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Mr. Kevin Sorenson
Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security
Thursday, January 31, 2013
● (0845)
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot, CPC)): I call the
meeting to order.
Good morning, everyone. This is meeting number 67 of the
Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. It is
Thursday, January 31, 2013. This morning we are continuing our
study on the economics of policing in Canada.
We're fortunate to have a number of esteemed guests with us here
today. First of all, appearing on behalf of the Canadian Association
of Chiefs of Police is Mr. Dale McFee, past president. We also have,
from the Canadian Association of Police Boards, Alok Mukherjee,
who is the president of the association. Appearing by video
conference from Vancouver is Tom Stamatakis, president of the
Canadian Police Association.
We certainly appreciate all of you being here today, but if there
were an award for a special thank you, it would be given to the
Canadian Police Association in Vancouver. The time out there is
about a quarter to six in the morning, so obviously their president has
been up early and is appearing.
Our committee thanks you. We're taking this study very seriously,
as we do all our studies. We know the costs of policing in Canada are
increasing. Certainly as a committee and as a government and
opposition, we all want to work together to see how we can play a
role in proper decisions for this very important file of protection and
I'll invite all our witnesses to make a brief opening statement, and
then we'll move into the first round of questioning.
Perhaps I should go first to Mr. Stamatakis in Vancouver.
from all aspects of policing in Canada to study the issue, and,
perhaps more importantly, to find common ground.
Since the economics of policing is such a broad topic, I'm going to
try my best to keep my opening remarks brief in order to leave as
much time as possible to answer questions. However, there are a few
important issues that I would like to address with you this morning.
The focus of my presentation will be on the men and women who
wear the uniform of front-line police personnel. I have the privilege
of representing over 54,000 police officers and civilians serving in
over 160 municipal, provincial, federal, and first nations police
I appreciate having a seat at the table here when it comes to your
discussion on the economics of policing, since 80% to 85% of the
costs associated with policing in this country are directly related to
the members I represent. Of course, it's impossible to separate those
costs from the equation, since policing is a public service that's
provided by people, one that requires a constant application of
discretion and judgment that cannot be replaced even with
advancements in technology.
There's no argument that police salaries make up a significant
portion of the costs, but there seems to be a false belief among some
observers that the easiest solution is to cut those salaries and then
everything else will fall into place. What those observers tend to
ignore is the tremendous change that's gone into the job description
of today's front-line police personnel.
Police today are called on to serve roles as diverse as substance
abuse counsellors, mental health workers, marriage counsellors, and
youth intervention officers, all while maintaining their primary
responsibility for community safety.
Welcome. It's good to see you so early in the morning.
Mr. Tom Stamatakis (President, Canadian Police Association):
Thank you very much.
On top of those various roles, our officers also have to keep pace
with quickly changing technology and investigative methods, which
requires significant investments in training and retraining over the
course of their careers.
Good morning, Mr. Chair and members of the committee. I do
have an opening statement that I'll start out with. Hopefully there
will then be lots of time for questions.
On top of that, there is also the need to constantly and
immediately adapt to new regulatory frameworks, usually the result
of court decisions or other inquests and commissions.
I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to appear before you this
morning to discuss the economics of policing, an issue that's been at
the forefront of our association's efforts over the past two years.
Even further on top of that is the simple fact that policing in
Canada is already one of the most accountable professions that can
be entered into, with almost every province in this country having in
place at least one civilian oversight body, and in some cases three or
more, regularly putting our actions under the microscope. There's no
other profession that's subject to, and held accountable by, so many
political, legal, internal, and civilian agencies.
I'd also like to offer my thanks to your colleague Minister Toews
and the Department of Public Safety for their efforts in organizing
the recent national summit, which brought together stakeholders
To be absolutely clear, I'm not suggesting that any of the oversight
or accountability is not necessary, although I can and will certainly
make the case that the amount of duplication and redundancy in the
system is a significant driver of costs.
I just hope that this committee will understand that police officers
today can be more accurately compared with those in other skilled
professions or trades. There's no question that those professionals
have also seen their salaries increase.
The question of salaries for front-line police officers in Canada is
often the elephant in the room when we discuss the costs of policing.
I think it's very important to note that during the recent summit, there
was very little interest among the stakeholders at all levels of this
sector to make salaries a focus of this discussion, and I think for very
good reason: those stakeholders themselves are best positioned to
recognize that Canadian taxpayers receive tremendous value for
money when it comes to their police services.
In fact I'd argue further—and the statistics back this argument up
—that the increases in police budgets are not entirely the result of
corresponding increases in our salaries. Just take the City of Toronto
as an example. Since 1980, while salaries for front-line police
personnel have increased, the percentage of the total municipal
budget spent on policing has remained virtually unchanged.
Obviously costs are increasing across the board, but police salaries
on their own are not the main driver of these increases.
Another argument I'd like to directly address is the often-heard
refrain that crime rates are down, so why do we need to spend so
much on policing?
First and foremost, it's precisely those increased investments that
all levels of government have made that have had a direct influence
on the declining crime rates.
I admit a certain amount of frustration when I'm told that police
should be penalized for their successes by having their budgets cut.
However, I find it important for us to consider the facts when it
comes to budget cutbacks. I'd like to provide you with a couple of
first-hand examples.
● (0850)
In 2011 the City of Sacramento in California laid off over 300
police officers in response to budget cutbacks. Following those
cutbacks, the city saw a 48% increase in gun violence as well as
increases in crimes such as rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and
vehicle theft.
In Camden, New Jersey, which is the possibly the poster child for
police service cutbacks, aggravated assaults have more than tripled
and shootings have nearly doubled since the municipality laid off a
significant portion of their police service due to budget shortfalls.
In fact, research conducted on five New Jersey cities—Newark,
Camden, Irvington, Paterson, and Trenton—before and after police
layoffs indicates that the costs incurred from an increase in crime are
almost 13 times greater than the costs they saved in municipal
budgets from any cuts.
I also think it's important to note that Canada currently employs
203 police officers per 100,000 population and that this number is by
January 31, 2013
no means out of the ordinary when compared to our international
partners, who are often used as an example of why we should be
having a discussion around reducing the size of our police forces. In
fact, that number puts Canada behind similar countries, such as the
United States at 242, England and Wales at 252, Australia at 262,
and Scotland at 331 officers per 100,000 population. In fact, the
numbers for England and Wales and for Scotland reflect massive
cutbacks to officer strength that their police services have already
suffered, and Canada's numbers are still well behind theirs.
Of course, now that I have painted a picture of doom and gloom,
and before I get painted as a typical union boss who's standing in the
way of progress, let me just say that the situation isn't nearly as bad
as some might have you believe, and that I'm in fact hopeful that by
adopting a few very achievable steps, we can begin to tackle the
challenges facing our sector.
First and foremost is the need for additional investment,
particularly by the Government of Canada, in the field of research
for the police profession. Canada has over 200 police services at the
municipal, provincial, federal, and first nation levels. Almost every
one of these services is currently innovating new methods for
tackling the challenges of community safety. However, we lack a
formal structure to collect—and more importantly, to evaluate—the
effectiveness of these innovations, which often means that not all
communities are able to take advantage of the work being done on
the ground in Canada.
I should note that this recommendation is not particular to my
association. At the recent summit held here in Ottawa, this call was
echoed by colleagues from across the spectrum, and I believe this is
an excellent opportunity for the federal government to show
leadership without making additional direct and financial investments in policing.
Second, there is a need to focus on finding efficiencies within the
system as it currently exists. As I mentioned near the beginning of
my presentation, there's no profession in Canada that is subject to
and held accountable by so many political, legal, internal, and
civilian agencies. Eliminating some of the duplication while still
maintaining the necessary oversight would improve the job quality
of our police personnel while introducing important cost savings into
the sector.
However, it isn't simply the oversight mechanisms that need to be
improved. We also need to examine methods to streamline the
processes that currently keep our officers tied up doing administrative work behind their desks rather than having them out on the
street where the community expects them to be.
As you have no doubt heard by now, changes forced on our
profession by well-meaning judicial decisions have led to increased
workloads and processing times for some of the most basic charges
our officers lay.
January 31, 2013
Take impaired driving, for example. A process that in 1980 took
one to two hours has now increased to eight to nine hours for a single
officer. These sorts of increases are simply unsustainable across the
board. I'd also note that improvements to court scheduling times
would go a long way toward more efficient staffing. Too many of
our officers spend their entire day sitting in a courthouse waiting for
a particular trial, only to have that appearance rescheduled at the last
possible moment, all at tremendous cost to the taxpayer.
Impaired driving charges and court scheduling are just two of the
many examples I can provide in which common sense seems to have
fallen by the wayside. With an increase in funding for research that
can use evidence to study innovations to fix these basic problems, I
have no doubt that we can go a long way toward cutting costs
without resorting to the kinds of cutbacks in personnel that have led
to the problems I outlined in other jurisdictions.
Finally, I'd like to suggest that your committee direct a focus
toward the coordination of services across government lines,
including policing. As I mentioned earlier in my remarks, police
today are called upon to fulfill a number of diverse roles in providing
services that wouldn't necessarily fall under the term of public safety.
We need a holistic approach, particularly with respect to funding for
policing, that recognizes those diverse tasks.
● (0855)
Without a more coordinated approach, people may not realize that
cuts to police services will also entail cuts to health care, as the
officers who regularly deal with Canadians suffering from mental
health problems will be affected. Those potential cuts will impact
education, as officers who currently serve in our schools across the
country will feel the impact. The list goes on. We cannot separate the
investments we make in our police services from the benefits we
receive across all of these sectors.
The fact is that police officers do a great job. Citizens call us
because we solve problems in an efficient manner, and we can only
do that because of the skills and training we have, skills and training
that arguably are hard to replace and do not exist anywhere else in
the public or private sector.
Police associations across Canada have been the leaders in our
sector when it comes to addressing the challenges facing police
funding, because to put it simply, the members I represent are all
taxpayers too.
I think this committee has a tremendous opportunity to directly
influence these discussions, and while my presentation today has by
necessity focused only on a small section of this issue, I look
forward to your questions and comments and hope I can provide
additional clarity to help you in your deliberations.
Thank you.
The Chair: Thank you very much.
We'll now move over to Mr. Mukherjee. Forgive me if I've
mispronounced that. We look forward to your comments on behalf
of the police boards.
● (0900)
Dr. Alok Mukherjee (President, Canadian Association of
Police Boards): Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, Mr. Chair and members of the committee.
As has been said, my name is Alok Mukherjee, and I appear
before you on behalf of the Canadian Association of Police Boards,
of which I am the president. Thank you for giving us an opportunity
to offer our comments on a study that is very important to our
For some time now, our association has been working on the issue
of economics of policing. In 2010 the CAPB took the lead in
forming a coalition on sustainable public policing. This coalition
includes the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Canadian
Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Canadian Police Association, so if you hear some common themes, you will know that we
have been working together. Public Safety Canada has been an
important resource and ally in the work of our coalition.
Our active engagement with the issue stemmed from an initiative
of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. In 2008 the CACP
asked our organization, along with the FCM and the CPA, to endorse
a framework for integrated policing on the basis that division of
policing functions into federal, provincial, and local jurisdictions
was artificial, since in the final analysis all policing was local.
While there was broad consensus that this framework reflected the
reality of Canadian policing today, it was the CACP's position that
discussion of the framework was incomplete without addressing the
issue of financing of policing. As a result, in March 2010, CAPB, in
cooperation with the other stakeholders, formed this national
coalition. We are pleased that questions related to economics of
policing are now on the national agenda as evidenced by your
committee's study, the engagement of FPT ministers, and the very
successful national summit hosted by Public Safety Canada recently
on January 16 and 17.
The police boards and commissions that are our members are
responsible for the governance and oversight of more than 75% of
municipal police in Canada. One of their key responsibilities is the
development and approval of the annual operating and capital
budgets of their police services. It is their job to then explain and
defend these budgets at their local city councils to justify the
allocation of a significant portion of property tax revenue to policing.
As you know, in communities where policing services are provided
by the RCMP, or as in the case of Ontario by the OPP, the
municipality enters into contracts directly with these national or
provincial police agencies. Again, the cost is borne by the local
property taxpayer.
Regardless of whether a community is served by a municipal
police service or through contract policing, there is national concern
and an intensifying debate as to whether our current model is
sustainable. While our police agencies and the women and men who
serve in them by and large enjoy high public esteem, the public at the
same time is questioning the affordability of these services.
I should say this is not a new concern. In 1977 Judge C.O. Bick,
the first chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, then known as
the Metropolitan Toronto Board of Commissioners of Police,
sounded the alarm in his final annual report as he ended his 21year tenure at the helm. He said, and I quote:
The very real, very present danger is that the continued escalation of costs for
police services will seriously weaken the financial ability of Metropolitan Toronto
to contain the growth of crime.
In its assessment of the future financing of police services, the Ontario Task Force
on Policing stated that there is “a very real potential crisis in financing municipal
police services. This crisis could result in the imposition of constraints to growth.”
For us it is not a “potential” crisis, it has arrived.
● (0905)
That was in 1977, but Chair Bick may well have been speaking
these words today, as trends in police expenditure from different
police services show.
I'd like to share with you trends from three large police services in
Ontario: Toronto, Durham, and Peel. These are three of the largest
police services.
I draw your attention to the red line representing the rise in gross
expenditures on policing. These are tracked over a period of
approximately 12 to 15 years. As data from Toronto, Durham, and
Peel police services demonstrate, a relatively consistent trend line
was maintained until 1999. However, since then, total police
expenditure growth has far outpaced all other indicators, including
population growth, the growth in the number of police officers, and
inflation. The situation is very similar throughout Canada.
Public policing in Canada has evolved significantly. Growing
public expectations and demand for service, legislative changes,
transfer of responsibility by different orders of government, and
securitization of local policing in our post-9/11 world are among the
factors that have changed the nature and mission of policing.
Combined with trends in police sector compensation in the last
decade, there are questions about sustainability of the cost of
policing and the continuing relevance of the current model of
financing local policing.
I have provided to the clerk of the committee a small number of
background materials that shed light on these factors, and I ask that
they be taken note of in any report your committee prepares.
Local policing today involves a number of functions besides
dealing with crime. You have heard Mr. Stamatakis about that. Our
officers are in schools. They assist people suffering from mental
illness. They prevent social victimization. They police international
waterways. They are involved in national security and anti-terrorism
matters. They participate in integrated and joint policing projects,
and the list goes on. Often they are the agency of first resort as other
programs are reduced or eliminated due to the fiscal challenges we
face. The mandate of our police services ranges from keeping local
neighbourhoods safe from petty crime to interdicting acts of
international terror.
For these reasons, we have accepted an integrated framework of
policing. It stems from our recognition of reality. However, what we
do not have is a sound and comprehensive economic analysis of our
integrated system of policing. This is a broader analysis than of cost
The discussion so far has been based on a subjective and largely
political assessment that we are paying too much for policing and
that the local property taxpayer is bearing a disproportionate burden
of this cost, which should be shared by all orders of government. In
fact, we cannot really tell what value our current model of policing
January 31, 2013
truly adds in terms of factors such as community safety and wellness,
national security, savings in other public expenditures, and impact on
the community's total social, cultural, and economic development.
We may have a fairly good idea of inputs and outputs, but we do not
have any economic valuation of outcomes.
Further, we cannot tell whether the current system of financing
policing from the local tax base is appropriate. We cannot tell
whether, from a strictly economic standpoint, it is too much or just
right to allocate between 25% and 30% of a municipality's annual
budget to policing. We cannot tell objectively the extent to which
this system of financing policing locally is subsidizing provincial
and federal responsibilities.
● (0910)
I believe that an authoritative, credible, and independent
economic model of local policing in Canada, taking into account
all the variables, is a key prerequisite for an informed discussion of
the economics of policing and the responsibility of different orders
of government. This informed discussion is the missing track in our
efforts to deal with the economic aspect of our model of policing.
The track on which we are beginning to make some progress is in
controlling and reducing the cost of providing policing services. This
was the main focus of the national summit on the economics of
policing. This is what is being explored, for example, in Ontario
through the provincial government's future of policing advisory
committee. This is what many municipalities and police boards or
commissions are trying to deal with through efficiency reviews,
searching for alternative delivery models, determination of core and
non-core police services, examination of functions that can be
performed by personnel other than uniformed police officers and
volunteers, consideration of public-private partnerships, maximization of the use of technology, efforts to determine what constitutes
the right size of their services, struggling to achieve lower contract
settlements, outright reduction in police budgets, and so on.
For example, the Toronto Police Services Board oversees
Canada's largest municipal police service, which has total gross
expenditures exceeding $1 billion. Over two years, the Toronto
Police Services Board has reduced the police budget by a cumulative
total of nearly 10%. There is no question that this is an important
track for us to follow. By itself, however, this track will not help us
deal comprehensively with the broader question of economics of
policing as I have described it above. This is why it is the position of
the CAPB that we first need to develop an objective and
authoritative economic model of policing.
Second, we need a whole-system approach involving all our
partners—those in health, education, social services, and justice, to
name a few—in a meaningful dialogue on an integrated, broadly
understood approach to community safety.
January 31, 2013
Third, we need the federal and provincial governments to
acknowledge their financial responsibility for policing our communities. It is from this perspective that we welcome your study.
I will be glad to answer any questions.
tires. Perhaps we should not, for example, have police officers
directing traffic. We are looking at striking the right balance among
civilianization, privatization, and tiered policing. Tiered policing is
already gaining acceptance through the use of special constables to
perform routine duties.
The Chair: Thank you very much.
We'll now move to Mr. McFee, please.
Mr. Dale McFee (Past President, Canadian Association of
Chiefs of Police): Thank you, Mr. Chair. I'll try to sum up quickly so
we have some time here.
Let me as well begin by thanking each of you, the members of the
Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, for
having me appear today regarding this very important study.
I am also very pleased to appear with our colleagues from the
Canadian Police Association, the Canadian Association of Police
Boards, and the Quebec association of chiefs of police. Together, we
have undertaken to examine this issue over the past few years.
During my presidency of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of
Police, we recognized the fact that the growing cost of policing was
unsustainable. We became well aware of the impact that the global
economic downturn was having in countries such as the United
Kingdom and the United States. We sought to learn from their
experiences and questioned how we could improve the services we
provide to our communities in a sustainable manner, recognizing that
the complexities of policing continue to grow.
In 2012 the CACP initiated five regional conferences across
Canada, bringing together chiefs of police, the CPA and the CAPB,
the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, government, academics,
and private security organizations. Most recently, Public Safety
Canada held its national summit on the economics of policing, which
again brought together 250 representatives from each of these areas.
Jointly, we frame this issue using a three-pillar approach: one,
efficiencies within police services; two, new models of community
safety; and three, efficiencies within the justice system. Allow me to
comment briefly on each.
From the point of view of efficiencies within police services, I
agree with the CPA. They state that in comparing Canada to other G8 countries, we have, serving in this vast land, the lowest ratio of law
enforcement personnel per population. I also join them in saying that
we achieve great value from our police officers, who deal with the
ever-growing complexities of our profession.
Typically, in an overall police services budget, salaries represent
85% to 90% of the overall budget. Salaries are determined between
union representatives and police boards or governments, depending
upon jurisdiction.
Chiefs of police, however, are given the task of reducing overall
costs. From this perspective, as chiefs, we cannot affect collective
bargaining, but we can attempt to ensure that our officers are focused
on utilizing their professional skills for more complex policing
I have heard an appropriate analogy from the auto sector, which
states that we do not need to use master mechanics to change flat
We are increasingly looking at technology as a means of achieving
greater efficiencies as well. The use of automatic licence plate
scanners, for example, while controversial, allows us the means to
provide even greater enforcement capabilities with less resources,
and new analytical tools are producing the kind of business
intelligence that can help us put our resources where they can have
the most effect.
We are also reassessing what our core services are and the
alternatives to how we deliver those services, which leads to the
second pillar: new models for community safety, an area in which I
have been a very strong advocate. The feedback from all of our
conferences has been that law enforcement has often become the
front line for all social issues.
Most chiefs will say that between 70% to 80% of all calls for
service are not related to crime. The CACP's current president, Chief
Chu, states, “I used to call us the social service agency of last resort.
Now...we're the social service agency of first resort.” The evidence
shows us that the federal and provincial government cuts to social
services, the general impacts of the global economy, increasing
problems arising from mental health, the abuse of substances and of
alcohol, literacy rates, and the growing number of Canadians living
in marginalized circumstances all have a profound impact on
policing costs.
Police in Canada are introducing new, innovative approaches and
sharing best practices towards developing new models of community
safety. While I was the chief of the Prince Albert Police Service,we
undertook extensive research and study, which led to the
implementation of our community mobilization model. To summarize, we brought together social services, health, education, and other
human services to share information, to understand better who in the
community was having difficulties, and to help with immediate
intervention plans to reduce the risks that lead to crime before crime
happens. Victimization and a range of other social indicators all act
in the same manner for the right reasons at the right time.
● (0915)
The model has already yielded unprecedented reductions and
improvements across a range of indicators, from violent crime to
emergency room admissions. It is a common sense model that has
achieved significant success and has since been adopted by many
police services, including those in Toronto and Sudbury and several
throughout Saskatchewan. Just yesterday, my team was in Waterloo
assisting multiple human services partners to move forward in
similar ways.
If you subscribe to the fact that there is only one taxpayer, then
you must subscribe to the fact that community safety is bigger than
the police, and that collaboration also saves costs and delivers better
service to those in need. As a matter of fact, it saves more costs than
just those focused in one particular area. I hope that during this
discussion you will afford me the opportunity to expand on the
Prince Albert model, as I believe it is a game changer when
discussing the issue of the economics of community safety.
We note changes made internationally by law
enforcement in countries facing tough economic
circumstances. For example, the deputy commissioner of the New Zealand Police stated: We were very
good in enforcement, in response, but our changes resulted in more focus on
prevention and on victims. We knew everything about crime but not necessarily
about the victim—that changed. Prevention is now at the forefront. We are focused
on a 4% redeployment into prevention and are required to deliver 13% less recorded
crime and 19% fewer prosecutions. Putting people through the criminal justice
system alone does not produce the desired outcome.
We must ask ourselves if we need to re-evaluate those things we
measure. Also, what does success look like, and what is the most
cost-effective way to attain success?
We also support and are actively encouraging greater research in
this area, in partnership with Canada's leading academics, to develop
empirical best practices for policing and crime reduction.
The third pillar of our approach relates to finding greater
efficiencies within the justice system. This is a role in which the
federal government can provide leadership.
We can no longer afford to have police officers standing around
in courts, often being paid overtime, and wondering if they are going
to be called to testify or not. Driving under the influence arrests once
took a couple of hours of paperwork; now it's a full shift. Warrants
for such items as basic subscriber information relating to lawful
access for Internet information will place an enormous burden on
police resources. Case law changes that have expanded our
responsibilities for disclosure absolutely demand that we make
effective use of technology, such as electronic file transfers, right
across the criminal justice system.
New strategies such as those I've described require that we find
alternative ways of dealing with repeat offenders and the chronic
administrative breach charges that clog the system. Also, mental
health and addictions issues are creating a bottleneck for all service
providers, leaving us with the distinct impression that we must do
By streamlining the justice system, we can reduce the costs of
policing. It is quite astonishing and thought-provoking to understand
the reality of the costs of justice in Canada. The overall cost of the
Robert Pickton investigation in B.C. totalled $102 million, of which
$70 million was spent on the RCMP investigation.
Academia tells us that there is a correlation between the financial
markets and the evolution of policing since inception. This clearly
shows us that we have the opportunity to be better than we were
yesterday. That doesn't mean throwing out the baby with the
bathwater or reinventing; it just means tweaking to make ourselves
January 31, 2013
Allow me to conclude my remarks with a quote from international
finance crime author Jeffrey Robinson, who said, “We live in a world
of laws based on a 17th century definition of jurisdiction, overseen
by an 18th century model of jurisprudence, enforced by a 19th
century model of law enforcement and governed by a pre-digital
20th century world of...regulations.”
And we are dealing with 21st century crime. Those of us who
work within the system are pursuing new evidence-based innovations to change how we do business, and what we need is the active
support of political leaders and policy-makers to continue these
efforts and to engage all the necessary partners who can truly make a
Thank you.
● (0920)
The Chair: Thank you very much to all our presenters.
We'll move quickly into the first round of questioning.
We'll go to Ms. Bergen, please, for seven minutes.
Ms. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Thank you very
much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to our witnesses. Again, you have given us a lot to
look at and to think about.
I want to begin with you, Mr. Stamatakis. Mr. McFee, maybe you
can also comment.
Mr. Stamatakis, you talked about the importance of research and
investing in research. I think that one of the challenges we identified
very early on in this study when we talked about this on Tuesday is
the challenge of our country being so vast and so varied. What works
in Toronto clearly doesn't work in rural Saskatchewan, and what
works in northern Canada might not work on the east coast in terms
of where money can be saved and where resources need to be spent.
I'm wondering if you can tell me if you're aware of any other
countries or any other parts of countries where some of this research
has already been done and reflects somewhat our country and some
of the same challenges we face.
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: Thank you for the question.
What I would say in response is that Canada is the only country
that doesn't have some kind of national body or holding area for the
research that is being done, so I guess I would use the same words to
describe research done in other countries. When you try to look at it
to bring it into this country and apply it here, what works in the U.K.
doesn't necessarily work in Canada, and what works in Australia
doesn't necessarily work in Canada.
January 31, 2013
However, what those countries do have is a national organization
established specifically not just to conduct research but also to gather
research and to hold it, so that the small rural department in
Saskatchewan, for example, can go to that body and ask, “What's out
there?” It can then find those pieces of research that are informed by
good information and have been evaluated and can actually establish
that there are clear benefits to these programs. Then they can pick the
ones that will work for their community. Toronto might go with a
program that works in that densely populated urban area, whereas a
small community in Saskatchewan would go with something else
that works in a rural area with many different challenges.
It is a vast country. We have challenges that urban areas face, and
there are other challenges that rural communities face that are just as
significant but that create different problems for governments, for
police agencies, etc.
That's what's missing in this country. Australia has a national
agency. Scotland has a national agency. The U.K. has a national
agency. The U.S. has several national agencies. They have a sole
function: to conduct research, to gather research, and to make it
available to police forces across those countries.
● (0925)
Ms. Candice Bergen: Thank you very much.
We had some officials from Public Safety here on Tuesday. Mr.
Potter was referring to a catalogue. It seems like that's probably just
the tip of the iceberg in terms of what needs to be done, but it's good
to know that there are other countries doing it. Maybe then we don't
have to reinvent the wheel.
Mr. McFee, do you have anything you wanted to say on that?
Mr. Dale McFee: Yes, I have a couple of things.
You make a few distinct points that I think are bang on. The thing
before the research comes in is the framework to “act local”. We do
have that in Canada. We have it in a few locations. The Prince Albert
framework that I've given you basically has all the agencies working
under one roof and setting the local priorities. The framework will
work anywhere.
As is being shown, it's starting to go across the country. That is
giving a community the ability to act on local community priorities
and invert the CBOs and the NGOs to ensure they're in line with the
same activities. Then what you've created is alignment, and basically
you save on the resources, the services, and the money because
you've streamlined the process. In a community, you might be
working on the top seven priorities instead of having a whole group
of agencies working on priorities 17 through 20, which you don't
have the resources to do.
The second part of what we're tying to that right now is that the
CACP has started a research foundation, which is brand new. They're
starting to look at topics, but the piece that's missing is that pointer
journal. There are examples of it in the U.S. That can be as simple as
having a box checked that tells you if something has worked or
As a practical example, if you have a community in northern
Manitoba that's in trouble and we've had something that worked with
regard to those same issues that the community in Manitoba has,
why do we go and study it for four years? Why don't we take it off
the shelf, reroute it through the process, put it into the community in
Manitoba, and get the action today, rather than letting them suffer for
another three years? We are working on that. We're very close to
trying to make that happen.
Those are bang on, those key components. It's the streamlining of
the process, and the savings are in the streamlining. You put a peer
group above that. In our world, it'll be a DM advisory council with
various academics, such as Irvin Waller and former chief judge Ray
Wyant, and collaborative people such as a mental health expert out
of New York, a cross-training expert out of the University of
Cincinnati or Cincinnati's justice institute....
So yes, that does exist. We're not far away. We presented this to
Public Safety Canada on Tuesday.
Ms. Candice Bergen: That's good.
I think the website that you're referring to in the States, at least the
one that we were told about, is
Mr. Dale McFee: Yes.
Ms. Candice Bergen: Could you also expand a bit on the Prince
Albert model? Is it called Hub and COR? Is that correct?
Mr. Dale McFee: Yes, the Hub and the COR; that's back to giving
the framework to act local. I always use the analogy of a McDonald's
in Canada and a McDonald's in Japan. With a franchise, basically
everything is the same. The letters are the same, the cookware and
the software are the same. The only thing that varies is the menu; the
menu is what really gives communities the “act local”.
If you focus a structure that has multi-collaborative agencies all
under one roof, and they all put in their resources and realize that
they have to do business more collaboratively or differently, the cost
savings from going once collaboratively versus literally 40 or 50
times individually is huge. More importantly, it gives better service
to the client.
With Hub you have 24- to 72-hour solutions for things that come
to the table. You don't form a committee, you don't push it under this
person's phone, you don't worry about who pays for it; you go and
find out what the issue is and you deal with it.
Those things that aren't solved in those 24 to 72 hours, things that
basically overlap the brain trust or the brain piece, are the systemic
issues, the things that maybe we have to push up or write a policy
paper on for government to make decisions.
The policy paper isn't written by health, it isn't written by the
police, and it isn't written by social services; it's written by all, with
front-level, front-line people actually reviewing it before it comes up
to you, so that you see a more comprehensive piece of work that
looks at how it affects the individual and the community and not just
how it affects policing.
● (0930)
The Chair: Thank you very much.
We'll move to Mr. Garrison, please, for seven minutes.
Mr. Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, NDP):
Thank you very much to all three of you for appearing today. It's
really quite refreshing to talk about some new approaches to the
problems of community safety and building safer communities in
Canada. I really commend all three organizations for working on it
both individually and collaboratively, as I know you've been doing.
Mr. McFee, we've seen a lot of emphasis in this Parliament on
legislative actions that increase penalties for crime. I wonder how
that fits with the Hub and COR model you've been talking about in
Prince Albert, and also how that fits with the administrative burden
that gets placed on police. There are many people who will argue
that more mandatory minimums and higher penalties cause more
people to fight more cases in court rather than have the alternatives
of diversion.
Perhaps I could ask you to comment on that.
Mr. Dale McFee: Sure. That's a great question.
I was in front of the committee on Bill C-10, I believe, and we
support that. I think the reason we support it is that this is the balance
piece. If I could change one thing in a conversation, I would change
“hard on crime, arrest and incarcerate; soft on crime, prevention and
intervention” to “smart on community safety”. As I've said many
times, the reality is that we're not going to arrest our way out of our
troubles, but at the same time, we're not going to stop arresting.
There are people who need to go to jail. People who are
committing horrendous crimes need to go to jail. It doesn't mean we
forget about them; we have all kinds of great programming in our
institutions that we need to basically give them and try to rehabilitate
them and get them back into society in that contained environment.
At the same time, if you look at police services and you take down
our calls for services—this comes from when I was a chief of police
—it's the 75:25:5 rule: 75% of the calls are for antisocial behaviour,
meaning that left unchecked, it will become criminal activity; 25%
of the calls are criminal in nature; and 5% lead to criminal charges.
It's about balance. We have to attack all sides at the same time, so I
fully support this on behalf of the CACP, but I think what we're
having a discussion about today is what that balanced piece looks
like, if that makes sense.
Mr. Randall Garrison: Can I ask you the same question, Mr.
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: I agree with Mr. McFee. It is a question of
There needs to be some deterrence. The Canadian Police
Association and the police officers I represent on the front line
support there being a strong response to those who wreak havoc in
our communities and engage in activities that victimize citizens. At
the same time, we're engaged in many crime prevention activities.
The proactive piece is just as important as the deterrence, but the fact
is that in some cases.... I think Mr. McFee referred to the chronic
offenders we typically deal with. At some point, incarcerating them
means that people are not going to be victimized for a period of time,
whatever the duration of the sentence is.
The final comment I'll make is that the reality is that even before
the introduction of minimum mandatory sentences or other measures
around that, in our system right now the fact is that people dispute
January 31, 2013
and argue everything. That's one of the significant inefficiencies that
exist in our criminal justice system. We're spending days and days
attending to matters in court that are relatively minor matters and that
we're not dealing with efficiently at all. That comes at a tremendous
cost to the taxpayer.
Mr. Randall Garrison: Is there a solution there perhaps for some
alternative dispute resolution measures as opposed to using the
justice system for those more minor matters?
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: We completely support that. All across this
country police agencies are involved in alternative dispute resolution
It's interesting. There was a recent study out of New York, for
example. New York seems to be bucking the trend in terms of the
number of police officers deployed in that city. They're also bucking
the trends that exist in other parts of America, because they have
lower incarceration rates and, as a result of that, significant savings
because they are not housing prisoners.
It's probably because they have a lot of police officers who not
only have driven down crime but also are engaged in a lot more
proactive policing activities. As a result, they're finding that more
people are being dealt with in advance of getting into the prison
system, and if they are going, it's for a short duration, so they're not
getting the longer-term housing issues that come with tremendous
● (0935)
Mr. Randall Garrison: Thank you.
I would also like to thank you for bringing our attention to some
of the research that's been done on the results of layoffs in policing. I
know that police all across the country have been working on
efficiencies and will continue to do that. I know everybody
appreciates those efforts.
I want to turn to the Association of Police Boards. As a former
police board member myself, I know police boards have been asking
these questions of themselves for a long time. I appreciate that the
police boards have now started to ask others to join them in trying to
tackle these local policing costs.
Maybe I could ask Mr. Mukherjee something.
You talked about the factors that have helped drive costs,
including securitization of local policing after 9/11. Can you say just
a little more about the impacts you see from that?
Dr. Alok Mukherjee: Sure.
As I said, we support an integrated framework that includes all of
these different functions, but we do face some challenges. Just
yesterday I was in a place called LaSalle, near Windsor. I was talking
to a board member from Windsor, and he said there's a small river,
the Detroit River, that separates Windsor from Detroit. On the U.S.
side, the guarding of that water is the responsibility of the U.S. Army
and four other agencies. On the Canadian side it is the responsibility
of the Windsor police. It's one of those unguarded borders through
which a number of different kinds of trafficking take place, including
human trafficking, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, and so on, and
the responsibility falls on the local police with their limited
January 31, 2013
We face it in Toronto. As you would know, when 18 individuals
were arrested and charged with planning a terrorist act, the Toronto
Police Service was very actively involved in the operation, and for
good reason. I mean, who knows the local community better than the
local police service? Toronto worked closely with the RCMP and
with other partners to investigate and identify those individuals and
to gather the evidence, but doing that does come with a cost.
Those are just two quick examples of how securitization,
legislatively, has placed some responsibilities on the local police
service. It has other implications in terms of governance and
oversight, as we found out during G-20, when the local police cease
to be under the oversight of the local police board, but that's a
different issue.
In terms of the economics of policing, as I said, there is good
justification for involving the local police service in these important
matters, but it does come with a cost.
The Chair: Thank you very much.
We will now move to Mr. Norlock, please.
Mr. Rick Norlock (Northumberland—Quinte West, CPC):
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and through you to the witnesses,
thank you for appearing.
Because Mr. Stamatakis and I have a similar background, I'll start
with him; you always go with the most familiar people.
Having been a police officer and having faced some of the issues
you face on a daily basis, and having had an active part in the
bargaining unit in this area of eastern Ontario, I understand the
pressures you're under from your membership.
One of the things I've mentioned to some of my Ontario
Provincial Police friends and family is my fear that policemen are
going to bargain their way out of a job. We've just heard witnesses
say that perhaps policemen don't need to direct traffic, or perhaps
they don't need to run a radar set because we know there is
technology out there that can gauge speed. All I see is the number of
well-trained police officers becoming a very special unit, and then a
whole bunch of others. I see danger there. I see huge dangers there.
I have a question. Our government is trying to find efficiencies
government-wide. We're going to be able to find efficiencies of
about $4 billion by the time we hit 2014-2015. Are you able to speak
to how you will be reducing spending or assisting the jurisdictions
that your police departments are in? Are you working with the police
services boards and the chiefs of police and looking for cost savings,
or is your message to us that it's their job and your job is to bargain
the best deal you can for your members?
● (0940)
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: My job is to bargain the best deal that I
can for my members, but it has to be in the context of the challenges
we are discussing here today and that taxpayers across this country
are facing, which is why we have been working collaboratively with
the Canadian Association of Police Boards and the Canadian
Association of Chiefs of Police. You have seen lots of common
elements in our presentations today.
Mr. Rick Norlock: Excuse me, Mr. Stamatakis. You say you're
working with them. Are you working with them to look for ways to
reduce policing costs as they are mandated by their bosses and in the
end the people who pay your salary? It's easy to say you're working
with them, but are you working with them to find efficiencies and
cost savings?
I ask this because there are certain municipalities in the province
of Ontario where 50% of their municipal budgets, I am told, are for
policing services alone. That's why I'm asking you this question. If
you're truly going to work collaboratively, you have to do that.
The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Norlock.
Please continue.
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: With the greatest respect, sir, in my
presentation I included at least a couple of examples of
recommendations we made at the federal level around changes that
could be easily made and that would realize significant efficiencies
and reduce costs.
I think, though, that we need to have the conversation in some
context. When it comes to the kinds of police officers you want to
recruit, you can't add layers of accountability and increase scrutiny
and increase expectations with respect to training and impose more
training on police officers, and then expect there's not going to be a
cost associated with that.
We are making presentations on a regular basis. I would argue that
we're at the front of the discussion around where to find better ways
of doing things and how to use technology better to find those
savings. However, as I said in my submission, when—depending on
who you talk to—80% to 90% of the costs are associated with
people and you start to look at finding savings, unless you want to
reduce the size of your workforce, it's a challenge.
We're part of that discussion. We are not just engaging in
discussion; we're providing real examples of things that could be
done to find those savings so that we can use tax dollars as
efficiently as we can.
Mr. Rick Norlock: Thank you very much for that.
In reference to policing costs, would you say there's a fair balance
between federal, provincial, and municipal governments in regard to
responsibilities and resources? In other words, are there costs
savings to be had?
Number one, have we struck the right balance in this country? I
look at other countries that have more integrated police. Have we
struck the right balance? Do you think there would be efficiencies in
looking at this whole jurisdictional issue?
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: I think you have to look at the
jurisdictional issue, but I think you need to look across government
services. I don't think this is a question of spending more money; I
think there's lots of money being spent in this country at every level
of government in terms of providing services. It's how we use those
services, and I think you've heard some examples today from Mr.
There are many other examples, if we had more time, that I think
show there are tremendous opportunities to have all agencies,
whether police or social services or education or health, working
together more efficiently and sharing information so that we utilize
the dollars that exist in the system now more effectively to provide
better service. I don't think it's a question of saying we have to spend
a bunch more money.
Mr. Rick Norlock: Thank you very much.
Mr. Mukherjee, you heard my questions. We have only about a
minute left. Can you give some brief responses to those two
Dr. Alok Mukherjee: Well, your first question about police
contracts is an important question, as you mentioned and Mr.
Stamatakis mentioned. Over 88% of our budget goes into policing
costs and compensation, and in Ontario, for example, the difference
between the highest-paid and the lowest-paid jurisdiction is under
That doesn't make sense. The cost of living varies from
community to community, so it is an area that has to be looked at.
We have started talking about it. You are quite right; we are talking
about this. I mentioned that in Toronto we reduced our budget by
about 10%. How did we do it? We had to put a freeze on hiring and
promotions—i.e., reduce the number of people in our organization—
in order to be able to afford the contract.
On your second question about jurisdiction, I think Mr. Stamatakis
is quite right that there is a lot of money being spent—$12 billion
just in security, and if you add up the other jurisdictions, there's even
more. Have we struck the right balance? I would have to say no, and
that's why you heard both of us say we need a whole-system
approach in which we need to look at policing in the broader context
of community safety. The things police are doing these days—Mr.
McFee talked about this—cut across jurisdictions, but we look at
policing only in the context of public safety.
I propose that we need to do an economic modelling, because
relief is being provided in other portfolios because the police are
taking on certain costs. We need to do that analysis. We don't have
● (0945)
The Chair: Thank you very much.
We'll now move to Mr. Scarpaleggia, please.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.): Thank you,
First of all, I'll ask Mr. McFee or Mr. Mukherjee or whoever
would like to answer this question whether there are areas in which
we're not putting enough resources. We've heard about how we put
too many of our police resources into dealing with mental health
issues among the population, for example, or into spending full days
in court, but are there areas in which, if there were savings, it would
be wise to reinvest those savings?
I'm thinking, for example, of financial crime. I guess that would be
more RCMP. Would the local police be involved in financial crime?
I'm thinking, of course, of cybercrime.
January 31, 2013
Mr. Dale McFee: If I could pick areas, being a practitioner now in
the current role that I'm in and having listened to some of the
examples we've seen coming out of the collaborative work, I would
say that we're doing fairly well on organized crime. Obviously it's
something that always evolves. I think cybercrime will become
something that we need to do a lot of further work on, because there
will certainly be an evolution in that area with technology.
I think we could put it into three streams. If I were at the helm and
were designing three streams, the first stream I would design would
be the multi-collaborative approach to crime reduction. If it's
predictable, it's preventable. That's the front-end intervention, taking
folks right out of the system.
I think we are staffed well to investigate the back end. We do very
well in solving crime and we do very well in investigations, but I
think if we had a collaborative approach based on the data and the
technology, based on evidence and outcomes, we could take a large
portion of the people right out of the justice system.
For instance, in Prince Albert with its model today, violent crime
is down 31.9%. That's phenomenal. That has never happened. That's
one stream.
If I could have stream two with that same collaborative approach,
it would be focused solely on mental health and addictions. If there
were a collaborative approach for mental health and addictions, you
could have the same framework. You wouldn't need another
framework. Basically that framework would be an A to Z, right
from facilities to how we take folks out of correctional facilities to
how we rehabilitate to how we use the forensics or the science to
make sure we get the right basic intervention or the right treatment at
the right time. That would be stream two.
If I built the third stream, it would be based on educational
outcomes, focusing on literacy, focusing on parenting, focusing on
absenteeism in schools, focusing on all-inclusive, because we know
through the data that there's a direct correlation in the ability to read
before grade three and the connection to crime.
When we're looking at a comprehensive strategy, those are three
things that plague our country, especially in our marginalized areas.
In that other stream you mentioned, I think cybercrime is another
area that will continue to evolve.
In a lot of the areas we do a really good job. Canada is known for
its professionalism in policing. We're known for our transparency in
how we deal with it. It's not by accident that Canada's going to Saudi
Arabia to train them in how to investigate. We get asked that all the
With regard to the accountability framework we talked about in
response to Mr. Norlock's question, we have to be careful not to lose
that. As soon as we move police into the private sector versus having
police in maybe a low-risk policing model, we run the risk of losing
that accountability and professionalism we've striven so hard to
attain in this country, so I think we have to tread carefully there.
January 31, 2013
● (0950)
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: You're saying to reinvest the savings
in non-policing strategies—literacy, and so on and so forth—but
when we're talking about where you would reinvest in terms of
police budgets, it would be in things like cybercrime, I suppose.
Mr. Dale McFee: I don't think those are non-policing strategies.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: But you would use police officers in
those areas of education, literacy—
Mr. Dale McFee: Absolutely. That's the problem: those aren't
health strategies and they're not police strategies; they're community
safety strategies. That's where the discussion is and the savings are.
They're the high-use folks in our system, and how we deal with
them, I think, needs the collective expertise of a police officer, a
social worker, a cognitive person in a correctional facility, a mental
health and addictions worker, and a social worker on housing. If we
don't put that expertise at the table, it doesn't—
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Yes, and I agree with those strategies.
I'm just not sure about the role of police officers in all those aspects.
the trial can't go ahead. That means the accused person gets to walk,
or whatever. There have to be ways of using technology, particularly
in the minor cases, so that my evidence could just be admitted as part
of the record.
Someone mentioned—perhaps it was Mr. Stamatakis—that
nowadays a charge of driving under the influence means that a
police officer is tied up for a full day in court. What would you
change so that wouldn't be the case? You said you had many specific
recommendations to unburden police officers.
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: In response to your first question, let me
just say this. Here's the frustration.
I represent front-line cops, and that's where my experience comes
from. We're already talking about savings and reinvesting those
savings. We're having a discussion around the economics of policing
and what's sustainable and not. To Mr. Mukherjee's point, no one has
defined yet what sustainable funding for policing is in this country.
No one wants to talk about what core policing in the 21st century is,
so what is it that we're not going to have police officers do? When
are we going to engage the community in this discussion so that we
can hear from them what they don't want police officers to do?
To your first point around where we would reinvest savings, we're
not even scratching the surface when it comes to financial crime,
white-collar crime, cybercrime.
This has to be part of the discussion of what we expect police to
do in the 21st century, because we're not the agency of first resort.
We've become the agency of preferred choice in this country. People
phone the police because they know that we will come and deal with
whatever their issue is. The trick is what happens after the police
come. How can we use the other opportunities that exist out there to
be more efficient in the aftermath of the police response? That's
what's missing, so to your point around what do we do with the
savings, I'm not even sure we've had a discussion around what we
think the police should be doing in this country.
In terms of the court piece, police officers go to court to provide
their information. In my experience as a front-line police officer
going to court, I can't tell you the number of times I've sat in court all
day long, only to be told at the end of the day, or after the defence
counsel knows that I'm there to give my evidence, that there's a
rescheduling or there's a reason to find a way to delay the trial. It's
become part of the strategy, because if witnesses don't show up, then
If it's a contentious issue. It affects a person's right to have a fair,
appropriate, and full defence. Fair enough; let's have the officer
come in and give evidence, but there have to be ways we can use
technology so that the police officer won't be sitting in court from
nine o'clock in the morning until four o'clock in the afternoon.
● (0955)
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Like teleconferencing.
The Chair: Thank you very much.
We'll now move back to the opposition.
Madame Doré Lefebvre is next, please.
Ms. Rosane Doré Lefebvre (Alfred-Pellan, NDP): Thank you
very much, Mr. Chair.
I want to thank our four witnesses for joining us today. This
discussion is extremely interesting. Many points have been raised
that we may not have considered and some others that had already
been mentioned but should be looked into further.
The examples you provided show that police forces across the
country are facing growing challenges. I thought Mr. McFee's and
Mr. Stamatakis's remarks were very interesting. Among other things,
they talked about an integrated or co-operative approach among
various public assistance services.
In Quebec, some attempt was made to use that integrated approach
in the fight against street gangs, which represent a growing problem
in our large urban centres.
Can you propose any potential solutions—integrated solutions—
regarding the fight against street gangs? We could be talking about
reaching out to young people before they join a street gang. Do you
have any examples of what your members do when it comes to that?
Mr. McFee, I would like to hear your comments.
Mr. Dale McFee: I agree with you on the integrated approach. I
think the Quebec example is an excellent example, and there are
many others across the country.
The response boils down to the risk. If we categorize folks as low,
medium, and high risk, the response should be in accord. The
response in relation to an active street gang shouldn't be the same as
for those who we can predict are headed to the street gang. If we use
risk assessment and an assessment tool at the earliest opportunity,
maybe we can stop folks from getting into the street gang. That's a
huge opportunity for us.
That said, you are not going to deal with it the same way at the
back end. If we look at it from a cradle-to-grave approach based on
risk and assessment—in other words, as Thomas said, if we put in
the research and the evidence and we focus on the outcomes and the
best response in a particular situation based out of a centre of
excellence or based on the science—then we are further ahead.
Across the country, for the most part, we do a pretty good job with
organized crime. Could we get better? Will we need to keep up? Will
we need to enhance that? Absolutely, because it's an evolving world
where there are not a lot of rules. They get to change quickly,
whereas the police have all the rules on their side and quite frankly
don't change as quickly. How do you stop those pre-identified folks?
In our case, it was the Joe story when we built it. In Scotland, it was
the David story. There are many other examples across this country.
How do you do a timeline on an individual when you know where
they are actually headed? How do you use the collaborative response
—the collaborative agencies, teachers, and social workers—and how
do you take that young person out of that environment and give them
the help they need based on what they need?
We have a system in Canada that is much like the system
everywhere else. Our system is designed to wait for people to get in
the system, and then we tell them how to fix them. The reality is that
for the majority of those who are headed into our system, we know
they are headed there, but we don't offer the olive branch to ask what
we can do to help. Most people will choose that right thing, but they
are so stuck in environments that they can't get out of.
A lot of it is the marginalized component. We know they are
headed there, but as soon as they are there, we say, “Here is the thing
you need to do. Here's what you need to do.” I know how I am when
somebody tells me what I have to do, and I don't think anybody else
is probably any different.
Could we balance that? Yes, 100%, we could balance that.
That said, as Tom and Alok have mentioned, we have to keep our
eye on the ball on this side, too, because there are risks to
community and business. There are financial risks. It's tied into some
of the major businesses that we bring into our country. We have to
have a cradle-to-grave response.
Ms. Rosane Doré Lefebvre: Excellent.
Mr. Mukherjee, do you have anything to add?
Dr. Alok Mukherjee: In 30 seconds....
An integrated approach takes different forms, depending on what
we are talking about.
I agree with Dale and the explanation he gave. Within the service,
there can be an integrated approach as well.
A question was asked earlier about using a police officer for
everything. I would suggest—this is a discussion that's happening—
that we can have an integration of different skill sets within the
police service to deal with a problem in the way that Dale
mentioned, from diagnosis to prosecution. We don't need to have a
police officer perform all the roles.
January 31, 2013
We go into schools for school safety; there is no reason the police
agency couldn't have youth workers doing that, rather than a
uniformed police officer.
We go and deal with domestic violence. There is no reason social
workers couldn't be part of an integrated approach taken by the
service to that issue. We already do that, for instance, in dealing with
mental health: we pair up a mental health nurse with a police officer.
They go out in a mobile crisis team, and they deal with the issue
In addition to the kind of inter-agency integration that Mr. McFee
has talked about, there can be integration of different skill sets within
the agency .
● (1000)
The Chair: Thank you very much.
We will move to Mr. Hawn, please.
Hon. Laurie Hawn (Edmonton Centre, CPC): Thank you, Mr.
Chair. Thank you to our witnesses.
I have a very specific question, first of all, for Mr. McFee, which
relates to the excessive amount of time that police officers spend
processing impaired driving and so on. Have studies shown that
cameras in the cars that show the driver's performance in and out of
the car led to more guilty pleas and less court time?
Mr. Dale McFee: I believe that's the case. Certainly we can get
back to you on it, but I think that's the early evidence in relation to
impaired driving. It's the reason that a lot of people have gone to
The impaired driving discussion is an interesting one, though, and
it comes up in the economics of policing because it's a problem in
our country. Police chiefs and front-line staff are seeing so many
young people lost to impaired driving, it's sad. It truly is sad. I know
my home community just had one the other day.
If we really want to think differently when we look at impaired
driving and we want to challenge the system a bit, we can look at the
three things around impaired driving—the driver, the drug or
alcohol, and the vehicle. Wouldn't we just tackle the vehicle and
make it so that we had to blow into something to drive the vehicle?
You would drop impaired driving by 70% or 80% overnight.
I mean, it's just a thought; I realize that a lot of different things
come into play. But it's the same thing as the airbag, it's the same
thing as the seat belt, and it's the same thing as the headrest. I know
they're studying the technology in the U.S.
Impaired driving is a case that we have to get right, because we're
just losing too many young people.
Hon. Laurie Hawn: Yes. I agree.
January 31, 2013
Mr. Stamatakis, you talked about the crime reduction dividend, I
believe. People took that to mean they could spend less money on
policing, and violent crime actually increased. Did I understand that
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: That's correct. That's been the experience
in the jurisdictions in the States that I referred to.
Hon. Laurie Hawn: I would suggest that this is similar to the
peace dividend when the Cold War ended. People thought that
because the Cold War had ended we could stop spending money on
defence, not realizing that the peace dividend was in fact peace. The
crime reduction dividend is in fact crime reduction.
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: That's right.
I mean, if we're going to have an honest discussion, I think we
have to accept responsibility for some of the issues. In the policing
community, I think one mistake we've made is that we've tied
success too closely to crime rates and we haven't spent enough time
talking about all of the other activities we're engaged in. Naturally
we achieved that success—because crime rates are down—because
of things we've done along with some other factors.
Then people go, “Okay, crime rates are down, so let's reduce
budgets”, but I think the consequence would be that we'd see a return
to higher rates of crime in a variety of categories, just as we see in
communities that are struggling with police resources.
Hon. Laurie Hawn: Following off that, Mr. McFee, and getting
back to finding a balance between sentencing and prevention,
prevention obviously is cheaper in the long run than anything, but in
Edmonton's case, a couple of years ago I was told there were about
250 hard cases, people who were known, and if they could do
something about those 250 bad guys in Edmonton, they could reduce
the serious crime rate by about 50%. I was also told that the habitual
criminal will commit about 15 offences a year.
So if we take, in Edmonton's case, those 250 hard cases, give them
a mandatory minimum, put them away for something that's
meaningful, and work with them while they're there, obviously, to
try to correct their behaviour, it seems to me that would do a lot for
public safety.
● (1005)
Mr. Dale McFee: That was my comment earlier with regard to
arrests and not arrests. We're going to continue to arrest, because
quite frankly there are people who need to go to jail, but we don't
forget about them, as you've stated. It becomes about balance, and I
think that's where the real effort is: we've got that now, we continue
to do that, and we make sure the accountability pieces are there, but
to really change the system we have to do them both at the same
some of the oversight and still have effective oversight at a reduced
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: I can give you one obvious example, from
my perspective, in terms of duplication. I'll use British Columbia as
an example, although Ontario is in the same boat, and I think most
other provinces are going the same route.
When there is an incident involving a police officer on the street,
there will typically be at least two, usually three, investigations
conducted. At least in British Columbia, for example, there are two
independent agencies that investigate police conduct issues. They'll
conduct their own separate investigations, and usually the agency
might have another investigation that they undertake as a result of
the incident.
I think it's important to have independent oversight of police.
That's critical, and we support that, but do you need to have three
separate agencies, with three separate infrastructures and three
separate sets of investigators conducting that same investigation into
that one incident? Can you do it in a different way that's
independent, that's objective, that's accountable, but that's also a
bit more efficient?
The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Hawn.
Mr. Rousseau, you have five minutes.
Mr. Jean Rousseau (Compton—Stanstead, NDP): Thank you.
I want to thank the witnesses very much for joining us today.
My question is for Mr. Stamatakis and Mr. McFee. I would like to
hear the opinion of both of them.
At a time when we should rather be talking about modernizing
police forces, how can we be discussing their potential savings? In
the current context, the individuals or organizations that commit
crimes have increasingly sophisticated tools at their disposal.
I would like Mr. Stamatakis to answer first.
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: That's exactly what the point is—and I
alluded to it in my presentation—because for every one strategy that
we undertake, a lot of the criminal groups, particularly on the
organized crime or commercial crime side, cybercrime, will find new
technologies to overcome whatever initiatives we undertake. This
means that the police have to adapt to that with more training and
through acquisition of different, newer technologies. It's continuously evolving, and that's part of what adds to costs, which is a
reality of policing today.
I think that's what you're alluding to.
Hon. Laurie Hawn: We can't ignore both ends of the system.
Mr. Dale McFee: Absolutely. You can't do one or the other, you
need to do both. That's why we call it “smart on community safety”.
Hon. Laurie Hawn: Yes.
Mr. Stamatakis, you talked about duplication in the oversight
system, about redundancies equalling costs. Obviously I understand
that, but can you give us a specific example of how you can reduce
Mr. Dale McFee: My answer is that there are always going to be
those new things in crime. That's reality. There's going to be always
only so much money.
Mr. Jean Rousseau: What do you think, Mr. McFee?
I think it's a refocus. The refocus should be on evidence and
outcomes, and those things that we do well that make sense to our
bottom line we need to continue to do. As for those things that we
don't do well and don't make sense to our bottom line, we need to get
out of them and reinvest. Before it's new money, it needs to be
One of the things we have to look at.... I'm not a big proponent of
private security. I know they have a role; I'm not so sure the role is
policing, but there is a low-risk model of policing in which a lot of
agencies are using special constables at a reduced rate to do specific
police duties, which in essence should free up some end money to
reinvest in those areas that we need to keep up.
Police have to operate cradle to grave. They have to be good at all
ends of the spectrum. To be good at all ends of the spectrum, you
need to focus the expertise on those particular areas to keep up with
them. To get back to the comment we had here, that's why I think
when we focus on other areas and have police involved in mental
health strategies and in educational outcomes, we truly do have a
community safety program.
● (1010)
Mr. Jean Rousseau: Thank you.
My question is once again for you, Mr. McFee.
In my riding, the safety and security of communities is dependent
on multiple stakeholders: the Canada Border Services Agency, the
RCMP, the Sûreté du Québec, and occasionally a municipal police
force. When one of those organizations undergoes budget cuts or
restructuring, all the stakeholders are affected.
Since you also talked about effectiveness, I will give you an
example. In my riding, we have small municipalities of 1,000 people
that pay the Government of Quebec $70,000 a year for the Sûreté du
Québec services, and that gives them two half-days of patrol per
Do your members provide you with comments? Is there a dialogue
between the various agencies to better respond to cuts? Have there
been any cases in Canada where effectiveness was enhanced through
Mr. Dale McFee: That's a great comment and an interesting
comment. It's the same in northern Saskatchewan, just so you know
What is the expectation on what you're funding? In northern
Saskatchewan, if you're funding the RCMP and you're paying that
same type of rate, you might not be seeing a police car, but if
something bad happens in your community, you'll see a whole raft of
resources show up to solve that problem. Everybody plays a role.
More importantly, the structure needs to give everybody the
ability to act on local priorities, going back to what we were talking
about earlier. If we can really focus on having a structure in place
and figuring out how the finances go with that structure or commit
that particular thing that works on the priorities, and then apply that
structure in a cradle-to-grave approach based on risk, then I think
January 31, 2013
you're on to something. Then what you may be able to do in those
communities is if you did truly have a low-risk policing model....
A lot of the issues coming out of northern Saskatchewan aren't
crime issues, they're anti-social behaviour issues. Is there a different
way, connected with police, whereby we can deal with those? The
answer is yes, but the answer is that it needs to be based on research
and on evidence, and not on somebody's best guess.
Mr. Jean Rousseau: How much time do I have?
The Chair: You have 10 seconds.
Mr. Jean Rousseau: Mr. Stamatakis, you raised a relevant point
when you expressed your concern regarding the resources available
to your police officers in areas such as mental health care and
Can you give me an example of health care services you cannot do
without because they are indispensable to your members?
The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Rousseau.
Mr. Stamatakis, you're going to have to wait on that one.
We're going to go over to Mr. Leef, please. I will remind everyone
that the second round is a five-minute round, while the first round
was seven. We have to be a little more concise, perhaps, in our
questions and in our answers.
Go ahead, Mr. Leef.
Mr. Ryan Leef (Yukon, CPC): Thank you, Mr. Chair. Thank you
to our witnesses.
My question will be directed to Mr. Stamatakis and Mr. McFee.
The conversation now is largely around efficiencies and cost
savings. I'm just wondering if there's been any discussion at the table
about revenue-generation possibilities and what some of the
challenges might be. Are there legislative things that can be done,
and are there ways to start moving things that would otherwise just
end up in provincial or municipal general coffers back into policing
services directly?
Could you both speak on that aspect?
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: The challenge when it comes to police
agencies looking to generate revenue is of course that the priority for
police organizations is public safety, not generating revenue. The
challenge will always be the concern the public would rightly have
that police agencies were getting involved in activities just to
generate revenue.
January 31, 2013
There are some good examples. For example, here in Vancouver
they have an excellent false-alarm reduction program for which they
worked with the city to create a bylaw under which there's a
requirement to have a permit to have an alarm. It is a strategy that
was undertaken to reduce the need for the police to respond to false
alarms on a continuous basis. It's raised some revenue and it's
reduced the impact on the police, because they don't have to respond
to as many false alarms since people are being more responsible.
There is a consequence now to not managing your alarm system
properly. That's just one example, but it's one in which there is
clearly no conflict regarding the revenue generated and the police
response. I think there are other examples like that out there, but you
have to be very cautious.
I'll give you one last example. In British Columbia the provincial
government, independently of the police, returns traffic fine revenue
to local governments to help offset the cost of local policing. I think
that's an excellent program, and one that can be looked at across the
● (1015)
Mr. Dale McFee: I echo what Tom said. Obviously most
jurisdictions in the country have looked at all three of those,
including criminal record checks. Obviously some work has to go
into that.
An interesting one if you really want to look at revenue, if the
issue is revenue.... I think you've heard all three of us say that maybe
we need to focus within and see how we redirect resources first. I've
been a big believer that if we're going to get into evidence and
outcomes and we're going to pay for those things that have been
evaluated and so on, then if you want to take the driver of our
business, put a 1% tax on alcohol at $200 billion a year. That would
be $200 million, and you would pay for everything and then some.
The problem is you would have to make sure it was focused on the
things that matter.
Mr. Ryan Leef: I appreciate those comments. Thank you.
We heard a great discussion on collaboration and on working with
the diversified agencies that exist in a community. I can say from my
past experience that our being the front-line police somewhat
contributes to our being the agency of choice. You talked about
priorities being set by trends or modelling or municipal-federalprovincial priorities. Ultimately, as Mr. Stamatakis pointed out, it
really boils down to calls for service and what people are calling in
about. When police respond and then we deal with the aftermath or
the consequences of responding to that call, we can't just shut that
file down; we have to carry on. There's certainly a level of frustration
across Canada, and you hear front-line police officers say, “You
know, we shouldn't be doing this. Why are we engaged in this
As a former police officer, I know the contributing factor in this
situation is that the information gets shared upward to our agencies,
and we're very reluctant to bring it back down. There are models in
our country in which there have been exceptions. They've been
positive, as you've indicated.
Is it a legislative shift? Is it a policy shift? How do we make sure
that when we as front-line officers are complaining about doing work
that we don't see as being direct police work or that we see as being
something that should be integrated with the community, we're not
contributing to our being that agency of choice by not sharing the
information downward? I think a lot of agencies, at least those at the
territory level, if you talked to them, would say they put the
information up, but it's not reciprocated well.
Do you have any comments?
Mr. Dale McFee: That's a big point. When we designed the new
model we're looking at, privacy was everything. Honestly, privacy
was more of a barrier than it was an enabler. Everybody respects
privacy. Everybody has legislation. I think there's a huge piece to
enable that to happen. Absolutely, because without that informationsharing, the whole picture of being able to ask what you can do to
help is problematic.
The other piece to that is we've got a five-year victimization
survey compared to a one-year real-time crime stats study. The
perception and the reality are out of whack. You know it yourself; if
you put a five-year study to a one-year study, it's apples to oranges.
The Chair: Thank you very much.
We'll now move back to Mr. Rafferty, please, for five minutes.
Mr. John Rafferty (Thunder Bay—Rainy River, NDP): Thank
you very much, and thank you very much, witnesses, for being here
I have two questions that I'd like to squeeze in. One for Mr.
McFee, but that will be the second question. The first one is for Mr.
As all the witnesses are aware, when it comes to funding police
services, particularly from the province and the federal government,
all police services are not created equal. I'll use the example that I
know best, which is the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service, a first
nations police service in northern Ontario. The pay is less, the
benefits are inadequate, and the working conditions are very poor.
As a consequence, officers' health is a big concern. As well, many
communities are left without policing services, and many officers
spend an extra week, two weeks, three weeks in a community before
a break because there's no one to replace them, and so on.
When it comes to the economics of policing, what happens in a
police service like this is you have high turnovers—you also have
poaching from other police services, but I don't want to get into that
—which create a real problem in terms of where money is spent. Of
course, it's spent training officers continually, on a continual basis.
I wonder, Mr. Stamatakis, if you'd just take a moment to maybe
give your thoughts on first nations policing in Canada and what that
means in terms of where we're going in the future.
● (1020)
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: I completely agree with your comments.
We're right now engaged in a research project in which we are
spending a significant amount of time looking at rural and remote
policing so that we can address some of these issues, or at least start
to have a conversation around these issues.
Some of the frustrations for me and for the members I represent
who work in the kinds of communities you're talking about—first
nations, with difficult working conditions and lots of funding issues
—are exactly the issues you identified. The concern I have is that
we're having this big discussion about the economics of policing and
finding efficiencies, but it's all centred around the piece of our
country that runs along the U.S.-Canada border, the southern piece,
and then there's this whole other big part of our country in the rural
and remote areas that's not part of the discussion. That needs to be
part of the discussion when we talk about the economics of policing
because there are some real challenges in those communities. I
acknowledge that for sure.
Mr. John Rafferty: Thank you very much, Mr. Stamatakis.
Mr. McFee, on maybe a more positive note, I wonder if you could
just take a few moments to talk about the Prince Albert model as it
concerns urban first nations, and the initiatives there.
Mr. Dale McFee: That's a great point.
First nations are obviously overrepresented in the issues, but it's
not because they're first nations; it's because they're marginalized for
the large part. When I came back from our research in Scotland, it
was important that we brought first nations leadership right into our
model, and they're part of the model. That governance model, and
the actual working group, has first nations leadership right in it.
They're part of determining what the priorities are for the
community. They're determining the solutions. The COR has its
tentacles into other hubs in the north, which is the feeder system,
which are also first nations.
In this particular model, if you think about franchising and you
build a master franchise, you need to be able to support five or six
other smaller hubs. The hubs are basically just a new way of doing
business, of which first nations are a huge component.
I really want to emphasize as well, myself being Métis, that our
issues aren't first nations in Saskatchewan. Our issues are the
marginalized, who are overrepresented by first nations. The reality is
that if we can deal with those components, we can make a lot more
progress and get our way through this. That's exactly what that's
designed to do. Certainly we have that leadership in there now, and
it's making a big difference.
Mr. John Rafferty: Okay, thank you.
Do I have a moment left? One minute?
I wonder, Mr. McFee, if you would also comment on the same
question I had for Mr. Stamatakis concerning first nations policing,
and some of the funding issues they're concerned with.
Mr. Dale McFee: I fully agree with you. It has been a longstanding issue with CACP. First nations deliver quality police
services at the level set out for them in their mandate. They play a
large role in our policing umbrella. They police a lot of those
difficult areas. I fully agree that they should be using the same rules,
have the same pay rates, and have the same expectations as other
police services across the country.
The Chair: Thank you very much.
We'll now move to Mr. Payne, please.
Mr. LaVar Payne (Medicine Hat, CPC): Thank you, Mr. Chair.
January 31, 2013
Thank you to the witnesses for coming today. It's an important
study that we're doing.
My question is through you, Mr. Chair, to the witnesses. I know
that we've talked about different things that we need to do in terms of
police modelling. One of the things our government did this last
February was announce the next phase of the youth gang prevention
fund. I'm wondering if both Mr. McFee and Mr. Stamatakis could tell
us if they've seen any impact from that. Also, how would that help in
terms of your overall policing costs?
Mr. Dale McFee: I can't say that I've seen that yet. Maybe Tom
has more comments in relation to that.
I can say that anything that tackles youth gangs collaboratively
we'd be supportive of, but I personally haven't had a chance to
review it. I apologize.
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: What I would say is that I know your
government has made a significant investment in policing through
the police officers recruitment fund, and different provinces have
used the funding they receive in different ways. In some provinces,
including British Columbia, those investments went to the creation
of integrated units specifically targeting gang and youth crime. It has
made a significant difference.
Now, I'm also not familiar with this latest initiative, but obviously
any investment that can be made and any attention focused on youth
and gang crime are critical.
Getting back to an earlier comment around police officers in
schools and to Mr. McFee's comments, the most important thing
when it comes to youth crime and youth involved in gang crime is
intervention at an early stage.
Embedding police officers in schools provides the kind of
collaboration that we're talking about here. Teachers can identify the
kinds of issues that a police officer wouldn't typically see: the
student not showing up at school, not completing homework
assignments, showing up with inappropriate kinds of things like
money or clothing, or just behaviour out of the ordinary. You have
that kind of collaboration with the police officer embedded in the
school. You establish relationships and credibility. You can intervene
and maybe direct that youth's attention to more productive and
positive programs.
There are huge savings if that youth then doesn't become one of
the chronic offenders we've talked about here today, one who ends
up being one of the 75 or 100 people who are responsible for a
significant amount of crime in a community and who create a lot of
victims in our community.
This is the kind of thing that we need to be talking about. I don't
think there are simple solutions of just saying, “Let's get somebody
else involved in the schools. We don't need a police officer there.”
The fact is—and I alluded to it in my presentation—that police
officers have the training, they're accountable, and they have the
skills that are appropriate to use in a first response. The issue is, what
do we do after that? That's where we need to bring in these other
resources, or other people with other kinds of training, so we can
have a more effective response.
January 31, 2013
● (1025)
Mr. LaVar Payne: There was another point that I wanted to talk
about. I don't remember, Mr. Stamatakis and Mr. McFee, which of
you talked about special constables. I'm wondering if you can tell us
what those roles are. Do you see that as beneficial in helping to
reduce overall police costs?
Mr. Dale McFee: Go ahead, Tom.
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: I think we need to look at all models of
service delivery and of utilizing different responses, but we need to
be careful. Although there are programs in this country and other
countries that rely on community safety officers and special
constables, there really hasn't been a lot of good research or
evaluation around the efficacy of those programs and whether they
actually reduce costs.
We have had special constables, peace officers, and community
safety officers in this country for many years. I'll use Edmonton as an
example. They have a number of layers of what you could call
“police response”—people with peace officer status, special
constable status—so you have a whole bunch of organizations with
their own infrastructures that are being funded in some way by the
taxpayer. The question is whether that is the most efficient way to
respond to a policing problem or a community safety problem.
Recently a study in the U.K. examined 12 million incidents. They
found that 83% of them had some element of criminality; it could
have been a crime that had been committed. What you need are the
discretion, skills, and training of a police officer to do the
assessment. When their community safety officers were responding
to those calls, that person was then calling the police officer to deal
with the situation because there was an element of criminality in it.
That's the million-dollar question. We need to do the research and
the evaluation to determine whether it is actually the best way to
spend our dollars, or are we actually adding layers of bureaucracy
and infrastructure that ultimately make it less efficient?
The Chair: You're taking time from Mr. Gill. We're out of time.
Mr. LaVar Payne: Thank you, Chair.
The Chair: I did that yesterday. I don't want to do it again to
Parm. It's not a good way to welcome him to our committee.
We'll go to Mr. Gill, please.
Mr. Parm Gill (Brampton—Springdale, CPC): Thank you, Mr.
I also want to thank our witnesses for taking the time and being
part of this important study.
My question is for Mr. Mukherjee. You mentioned in your
remarks that you were able to cut about 10% of your budget, which
is just over a billion dollars for the Toronto Police Service.
I'm wondering if you could shed more light on that and give us
some details. You mentioned there was a hiring freeze and a freeze
on promotions. What other areas were you able to find the savings
from, and has this impacted the police services in any shape or form?
● (1030)
Dr. Alok Mukherjee: Thank you for that question.
We had to look at a range of approaches or strategies. Last year
when we started talking about achieving this 10% target, I wrote a
discussion paper for our board, essentially saying we need to
approach what we do differently. There are functions that include
human resources, business processes, alternative delivery models,
and delayering of the organization to the extent possible because, as
you know, in the police organization you have multiple ranks. The
question arises as to how many of those are really needed.
I proposed a comprehensive model. We took interim measures to
meet the 10% target, and of course, one of the things we had to do
was to say we'd hold off and put a freeze on hiring and take a look at
the appropriate number of police officers that a city the size of
Toronto needs.
We have retained an external consultant to come in and take a look
at the numbers issue. That relates also to the issue of functions. What
are the functions for which you need a uniformed police officer? It is
typically the case that often police officers are deployed in
administrative functions. Do you need them to do those? If you
have 5,600 police officers, wouldn't you prefer 95% of them to be
out on the street doing what they should be doing, which is
community safety?
As a result, we've been looking at functions that police officers do
not need to perform. We've been looking at levels of supervision. Do
we need six layers of supervision? We've looked at the span of
control. What is the span of control? Do we need the 2IC, the second
officer in charge, in every police division? Is there a size that justifies
We're taking a good look at the organization and at achieving
efficiencies by streamlining old accepted practices. Then we raise the
question of functions that we do not need to perform. Mr. McFee
mentioned a little bit about this. We are looking at, for instance,
functions in our core security services. The chief proposed taking 85
core security officers out of that unit and using them in police
divisions and replacing them with partial privatization, because those
are very rudimentary functions. We talked about the low-level
functions. Our sense was that we can achieve efficiencies by
outsourcing those functions.
You are looking at background reference checks that Tom
mentioned. We have a team of people doing nothing but receiving
applications from members of the public to run background checks.
They are permanent employees. They involve lifetime pensions,
benefits, and so on. We raised the question of whether we can
outsource that. There are companies that are doing that function
online. There may be certain types of background checks that must
be done by police officers or police personnel; for others, we don't
need to get involved.
It's a comprehensive attempt to re-engineer and redesign the
organization, to deploy the maximum number of police officers to
policing functions, and to give up functions that are not core to
policing. We're looking at core in two ways: core to the duties of the
police officer and core to the functions of the police service, and
we're looking at which of those functions can be done by police
officers or by somebody else.
We have implemented and are continuing to develop a combination of approaches, and we are bringing in some external expertise to
assist us in those reviews and to develop ongoing changes. We
achieved the 10% with some stopgap measures, but obviously we
cannot permanently maintain a freeze. One year down the road we
will have to lift that freeze. If we have not used that time to bring in
permanent sustainable changes, we will be back to where we were.
● (1035)
The Chair: Thank you very much.
We will now move back to the opposition and to Mr. Garrison,
Mr. Randall Garrison: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I want to say again that when the summit started and we saw some
of the media reports on the minister's statement, we were quite
concerned on our side that there was an excessive focus on police
salaries and on the police efficiency work that I know is already
going on. It is quite refreshing to hear the kinds of ideas that were
being put forward about building safer communities and the
community safety approach. What's very useful for me as a
committee member, and I suspect for others, are some of the
concrete examples you've been giving.
I want to ask about mental health. Sometimes people ask why
police officers are dealing with mental health issues. I'd like to give
each of you a chance to talk about the integrated approach in mental
health and the role of police in that.
Perhaps we'll start with Mr. Stamatakis, since we always forget the
person who's not in the room.
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: I take a bit of a different approach from a
lot of people in the police sector and police community.
The fact is that there have been a number of public policy
decisions made across the country in different provinces around
mental health and how to deal with it. Most of them involve
deinstitutionalizing people suffering from mental health issues and
integrating them into the community, which is fair enough, but the
consequence is that in the first instance when those people suffering
from mental health issues are in crisis, the police have to respond. I
think we do a very good job of it, and it's an appropriate response.
The issue is, though—and I think it was alluded to already—to
create the partnerships whereby we bring in the professional people
who have the skills and the training to deal with mental health issues
in the long term, after we deal with the crises. What we need to do
better, whether it's through policy change or legislative change, is
deal with some of those privacy issues and some of the jurisdictional
problems that prevent those partnerships from continuing. This
would allow us to pass those people off after we deal with the crises
so that there's a meaningful solution and intervention.
The Chair: Go ahead, Mr. McFee.
Mr. Dale McFee: Mental health is something that I had
mentioned as one of the priorities.
I think there are some great examples across the country, such as
police tagging up with mental health workers in police cars to attend
an initial response. Going forward, to make a long story short, this is
January 31, 2013
something that's going to need a comprehensive and collaborative
I was just at the justice reform committee about two weeks ago in
Montreal. At the reform committee there were judges, prosecutors,
defence lawyers, police leaders, deputy ministers, etc., and the
common response coming out of there is that we need to do a better
job of mental health before it's even in the justice system. How we
deal with it when it's in the justice system is another thing. It kind of
follows that same pattern, based on risk, cradle to grave.
We need a balanced approach to mental health. We tend to focus
on just one specific area. The reality is that the majority of mental
health issues, with some early recognition, can be controlled with
medication. Unfortunately, we don't get in the door, the path, or the
stream early enough, and we need to do a better job of that.
Mr. Randall Garrison: Mr. Mukherjee, would you comment?
Dr. Alok Mukherjee: I don't mean to be facetious, but I
sometimes refer to it as a growth industry, because for policing,
dealing with mental illness has become a major piece of business. It's
an unfortunate reality, but often if a person who needs help doesn't
call the police, he or she may not get the help. The police have
become the responders of first resort when it comes to mental illness.
There are, as Mr. McFee said, some very good examples across
the country of partnership-based approaches that police services are
using. I just talked about the one in Toronto, through which we have
entered into agreements with hospitals in different parts of the city.
In these partnerships the hospital provides a mental health nurse and
we provide the police officer. At certain times of the day—from
evening until early morning, when calls go up—they travel together.
Quite often when a person in distress calls, the matter is resolved on
the side, because the police officer makes the scene safe so that the
mental health nurse can deal with the situation. When hospitalization
is needed, ambulances are on standby and the person is moved to the
hospital. That system is working exceptionally well. We now have
that across the city.
The other thing that we have had to do is training. As you know,
most of the mandatory training a police officer receives is around use
of force, and this is a big issue. We have created a group of people
from the community, including providers of service, consumers, and
survivors themselves, to work in our police college to help us
develop a good training model for our police officers.
Those two have been very helpful for us in responding as much as
we can effectively to mental illness in Toronto.
● (1040)
The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr. Mukherjee.
Ms. Bergen, it looks like you're probably going to have the last
say of the day.
Ms. Candice Bergen: That's great. Thanks, Mr. Chair.
January 31, 2013
I want to begin by saying that I take exception to Mr. Garrison's
comments regarding Minister Toews' opening comments at the
economics of policing summit. I don't know if he read the same
comments that we have in front of us, but I think the minister
focused quite squarely on the very broad nature—I see Mr. McFee
nodding his head—of the economics of policing and the challenges.
He clearly did not just focus on salaries.
As parliamentary secretary for the last almost two years, I think
one of the things I have heard over and over when I talk to front-line
officers and to representatives from different organizations is that
Minister Toews is extremely well respected by front-line police
officers as a Minister of Public Safety because he values the work
they do. I think one of the reasons is that we have 11 officers, Mr.
Chair, in our Conservative caucus who are front-line officers. Some
are here today. I'm very proud of the fact that we have a minister who
understands, respects, and values the good work the police do.
Leading into another point you made, Mr. Stamatakis, it was in
regard to inefficiencies. You used an example in British Columbia of
several investigative bodies that investigate police. I wanted to ask
you, then, about one of the bills that we've introduced, the bill on
enhancing RCMP accountability. We've introduced a measure so that
when RCMP members are involved in serious incidents, we believe,
just as you do, that rather than creating a brand new body to
investigate them, we should use the bodies that are already in place.
In some provinces there are investigative bodies that have been
created, that are working, and that do the job very well. In certain
provinces, they don't have those bodies, but then they have other
police, obviously, such as city police and excellent investigative
bodies, which we believe could do the job of investigating serious
incidents within the RCMP.
In relation to the cost of policing, would you agree that it's
probably a very poor economic decision to create yet another
investigative body, either provincially, as you mentioned, or even in
terms of the RCMP?
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: Yes. My perspective is that we're just
adding layers of infrastructure and duplication of offices, computers,
and all the things that go along with creating a new agency. The fact
is that police officers are capable of investigating police-involved
incidents. You need to have the right kind of independent oversight
of it so you can ensure that the investigation is conducted
appropriately and that it's transparent, and it needs to be timely,
but I think there are models that are more efficient than just adding
more and more layers of bureaucracy to these kinds of incidents.
Ms. Candice Bergen: Thank you very much.
I know that I'm going again to you, Mr. Stamatakis, but you
mentioned the police officers recruitment fund, which was our
government's initiative. It was unprecedented. We announced $400
million for recruiting police across this country. At that time, were
your members—were you—aware that it was a temporary initiative?
Mr. Tom Stamatakis: Yes. I think the government was quite clear
that it was a temporary initiative. The unfortunate.... I think it was a
significant investment by this government, I think it was
unprecedented, and I think it was important. Unfortunately, our
experience is that it was received differently by different provinces.
Unfortunately, in some provinces I don't know that they used
those funds to recruit officers, to put more police officers on the
street, and of course that has had an impact on whether or not the
government is prepared to continue to make that investment.
Of course, my view is that the investment continues to be
important, but I realize that the return on the investment might not be
what the government anticipated.
● (1045)
Ms. Candice Bergen: Then there's one other fund that we've
announced, and again it's unprecedented—no other government has
done this—and that's the national crime prevention fund, which I
know that both you and Mr. McFee were not completely familiar
with. It's $7.5 million over five years.
One of the components of it is our youth gang prevention fund.
That goes out across the country to hundreds of projects in cities and
in small communities, very good, local, grassroots projects that help
address right on the ground the needs in helping kids stay out of
crime. It sounds like that is a lot of what you're talking about as well.
Could you address the importance of those funds?
Mr. Dale McFee: In the past we've met with the National Crime
Prevention Centre and we're very familiar with them. I wasn't
familiar with the particular part of the gang issue that they put
forward, but absolutely, they do some good work.
The discussion we had was a kind of think tank on how we
parallel this so that we would better fit the needs of the individual or
the taxpayer, so it was a great discussion. I'm very familiar with the
National Crime Prevention Centre. They do good work.
Ms. Candice Bergen: Yes, and that is different from the national
crime prevention fund that we announced.
Mr. Dale McFee: That's where it has come from—
Ms. Candice Bergen: Yes, it's a different thing.
The Chair: Thank you.
I think I can speak on behalf of all members and all parties.
Certainly we have valued your testimony today. I think the questions
have reflected that. We've heard a couple of contrary opinions on a
few things, especially in relation to officers in the classrooms and
whether they should be there or not, and I know that we want to
explore some of these more.
Thank you for being here today and for being a very important
part of our study.
The meeting is adjourned.
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