In the wake of a tumultuous year marred by unprecedented violence and growing frustration among the city’s frontline cops, the Toronto Police Service faces some difficult issues in 2019.
Some of those issues — such as short staffing and declining morale — will likely come to a head in coming months as the Toronto Police Association and Toronto Police Services Board sit down to hammer out a new contract for the 4,800 uniformed officers and 2,500 civilians employed by the service.
“Morale is lower than it’s ever been…our members are fed up,” TPA President Mike McCormack told the Sun recently, explaining his members’ contract expired at the end of 2018 and negotiations for a new deal are set to begin this month.
As cops tried to keep up with radio calls and worked more overtime than they could handle last year, bodies piled up in numbers never before seen in the city.
By the end of 2018, there were a record high 96 murders. And 51 of those victims were killed by guns — one shy of another record high.
“None of our people are surprised by the increased gun violence,” McCormack said.
He and others in the policing world have been sounding the alarm bells for several years as shootings in the city spiked dramatically.
But city politicians and TPS senior command insisted the city is safe and made assurances, despite criticism from front line officers, modernization plans including streamlining the service and doing more with less would help address public safety.