This is from the Toronto Sun editorial section of the newspaper:
Wed, January 26, 2005
The police board's busybodies
Unlike Toronto councillor Case Ootes, we to do not believe that police services board chair Pam McConnell is out to deliberately destroy the morale of Toronto police.
Rather, we believe that lower morale will be the collateral damage that results as McConnell and her new left-leaning board try to turn our cops into social workers.
At this week's board meeting, McConnell was re-elected for another year after serving as interim chair for several months. Overall, the board has veered sharply to the left as the appointees of Mayor David Miller and Premier Dalton McGuinty start to flex their muscles.
Ootes, the lone board member to vote against McConnell, accused her of being out to cut the police budget and destroy police morale, criticisms she called "cheap shots."
Now, we don't think McConnell is "anti-police" -- in the sense of being "pro-criminal." But judging from her public statements, she certainly views the cops with considerable suspicion, both as to how they do their jobs and how they spend our money.
Even before being re-elected as chair, McConnell, who is part of the NDP caucus at City Hall, hinted at what seems to us an alarming readiness to micromanage.
She told a newspaper about her plans to make one officer responsible for gathering all the information at crime scenes, as opposed to several, to save money when the police have to testify in court. (Shouldn't the police be deciding such issues, rather than the board?)
She'd also station security guards instead of cops at less sensitive crime scenes to save money -- the only time we can ever recall McConnell advocating contracting out.
Outgoing Police Chief Julian Fantino says he's worried the new board will overstep its mandated role of civilian oversight and budget-setting by encroaching into day-to-day operations, which are the job of the chief.
Or rather, the chief-to-be-named-later, since this board won't choose a new chief until as late as May, while Fantino is being shown the door at the end of February.
Ironically, the new board plans to hold four public meetings to get input about the choice for the new chief.
That's rich, since last summer, some 35,000 people signed petitions to keep Fantino on as chief. And a Sun/Leger poll of GTA residents found Fantino's approval rating (65%) was higher than Miller's (51%).
It would appear the public has already spoken up about what kind of police chief it wants.
And the police board has chosen not to listen.
And another thing ...
JUST WEEKS before he's to testify at the AdScam inquiry, Jean Chretien's lawyers made a predictable bid yesterday to have Justice John Gomery step down because of comments he made in recent interviews -- comments like "judges hate being lied to." Stick to your guns, judge!
Letters to the editor should be sent to: email@example.com
To any and all in the GTA, best of wishes and good luck with this one. I've lived there, and its one huge chuck 'o landscape for one guy to "investigate".
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01-26-2005, 03:29 PM #1
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01-26-2005, 03:34 PM #2...and its one huge chuck 'o landscape for one guy to "investigate".Steve Gallagher
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