Exploring New Service Delivery Options

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 11:05 a.m. August 22, 2016
Updated: 11:21 a.m. August 22, 2016

The Transformational Task Force is continuing its work in shaping a new Service for the future.

A report cover, photo of a TPS officer holding hands with a child
The Transformational Task Force Interim Report, The Way Forward: Modernizing Community Safety in Toronto

As part of the implementation of recommendations in the Transformational Task Force (TTF) Interim report outlining a new model of policing, Toronto Police Service (TPS) released a Request for Information (RFI) on August 15 to get feedback from third parties interested in operating all or part of Court Services.

Superintendent Mark Barkley, a member of the task force leading the Service’s transformation, said the status quo doesn’t work anymore.

“We need to look at other opportunities and options for how we do business differently,” he said. “We have to answer to many of the things that have been raised in the past about why we are not looking at shared services and outsourcing all or parts of various aspects of our business units. That extends to our uniformed side as well when we look at other aspects such as collision reconstruction and maintenance and repairs of breath tech equipment.”

Interested parties are invited to go to MERX – the system designed for vendors – to review the RFI.

This formal procurement process ends in September.

“Once that closes in early September, we will share the document with Court Services members,” said Barkley. “Going forward, we will review all responses. That process will take some time and we want to engage Court Services members and management team. We also will have conversations with Chief Mark Saunders and the Command, the Toronto Police Association (TPA) and the Senior Officers Organization.

“After that, the Chief has to make a determination. He has a PSA (Police Services Act) mandate and responsibility for the provision of court security, so we have to make sure that, with respect to the PSA, any action we deem appropriate – whether in whole or in part – has to comply with legislation. We also have to look at the impact on people. These are very serious conversations.

Barkley said an RFI allows the Service to determine if there is potential interest in the marketplace for an organization to take on the work.

“Without that information, we simply can’t decide whether or not we are going to contract professional services. We are at the first stage which is simply to do the research, gather the information, assess it and then work with the Chief, the Command, the Board and the TPA to look at this and ask ourselves if this is truly going to add value to the organization, is it truly the best way to go, what are the risks doing this, does it meet our requirements and are there any other challenges or cascading consequences that we need to mitigate and get a fulsome understanding of it.”

The Service has also released a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking a partnership with a provincial university/college of applied arts and technology to advance the professionalization of police training.

Barkley said there is great value in partnering for the benefit of the Service.

“It’s not a replacement of a service,” he added. “It’s an addition to what we currently have and there is great value in partnering with other institutions to help our Service. As we conceptualize a new model, we are looking at opportunities to engage academic institutions. It gives us an opportunity to hear from new up-and-coming bright minds that are out there in universities and it gives universities a chance to embed their students in what we are doing. There is also an opportunity for us to see who is interested in a TPS career. We want to attract the brightest minds and what better opportunity to do that than look for this kind of workplace-type scenario.”

Saunders and Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) Chair Andy Pringle, the TTF co-chairs, jointly released the interim report,The Way Forward: Modernizing Community Safety in Toronto, last June, prepared by the task force made up of Service members and members of the public.

The report contains 24 recommendations, some of which can be implemented right away, while others will be phased in.

Click Here to learn more and share your feedback on modernizing the Service.

Visit a town hall tonight, August 22, at the Barbara Frum Library (20 Covington Rd.) from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Drop in anytime to talk to members of the Task Force and have your say.

TPS crest watermark