Chief Bill Blair defends officers amid carding questions
Recent study fails to acknowledge 'extraordinary work' of 31 Division, says police chief
Toronto police Chief Bill Blair is defending the officers of 31 Division, telling reporters Thursday that a study criticizing their conduct is potentially flawed.
A study was recently commissioned by the Toronto Police Services Board, which surveyed more than 400 residents of 31 Division, in northwest Toronto.
Among its findings were that officers were not following new guidelines for carding — the term used to describe the controversial practice of stopping people on the street and collecting information about them.
The report was delivered to the police board, which met on Thursday.
Blair said he sees problems with the way the survey was conducted and that he believes it fails to give credit to the good work the officers are doing.
"I'm not suggesting that every contact between police and young people always goes perfectly," Blair said, following the police board meeting.
"We are working very hard with our people to provide them with the training and the tools, the direction and the supervision that will enable them to manage those community engagements appropriately."
Hours earlier, when Deputy Chief Peter Sloly spoke to CBC Radio's Metro Morning, he expressed a similar message about the progress being made in 31 Division.
"The crime situation has significantly turned around … as has the relationship with local police," Sloly said Thursday morning. "Have we addressed all the crime problems in that area? No. Have we addressed all the trust and legitimacy issues in that area? No, but we have made progress."