The Toronto Police Services Board, at their January 21 meeting, solidified a true accomplishment for the Toronto Police Service and its PACER Advisory Committee (PAC) by approving the addition of “Freedom from Bias” to the Service’s core values.
We respect and uphold the rights and freedoms of all individuals and ensure, in all of our interactions and in the exercise of our discretion, we are not influenced by any prejudice or stereotype.
Since the first meetings of the PAC – a varied group of dedicated, informed community partners and Service members – the team has been working tirelessly on implementing the 31 recommendations in the Police and Community Engagement Review (PACER).
The first recommendation, that the Service create a new core value articulating its explicit, continued commitment to delivery of bias-free police services, was brainstormed and borne out of the committee’s efforts to hold the Service accountable to this primary piece of governance.
“As a committee, we have worked to ensure the Service never loses sight of improved service delivery through respectful and bias-free community engagements,” said Audrey Campbell, PAC Co-Chair and Past President of the Jamaican Canadian Association. “I am proud of the commitment shown by the PAC membership and the core value is but one example of our hard work.”
To date, the Service has fully implemented or substantially implemented 29 of the 31 recommendations. The PAC has been instrumental in providing input and feedback on these recommendations, such as: working with the Center for Policing Equity on an evaluation; creating an ongoing public education campaign; enhancing training for officers; and reviewing procedures operationalizing the Toronto Police Services Board’s Community Contacts policy.
“The core values govern every single member of the Toronto Police Service, from the time they are hired to the moment they are no longer employed by us,” said Deputy Chief Peter Sloly, Executive Sponsor of the PACER project. “The recognition of bias-free policing in our core values sends a strong message to our members and to the community.”
Freedom from Bias joins Honesty, Integrity, Fairness, Respect, Reliability, Teamwork and Positive Attitude.