Toronto·CBC Forum

Do you still trust your police?

It's been a bad week for police across Canada, especially in Toronto, where four officers were charged with perjury and obstruction of justice and another was found guilty of attempted murder. Readers talked in our latest CBC Forum about whether they still trust their police.

It's been a rough week for police in Canada, especially in Toronto

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders spoke earlier this week during a news conference in response to the guilty verdict for attempted murder in the James Forcillo trial. Do you have faith in Canadian police? (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Canadian Press)

It's been a rough week for police across the country, especially in Toronto.

A cursory search of CBC News stories over the last 12 months reveals officers facing allegations of drug trafficking, dangerous driving, drunk driving, excessive force during arrest, assault and sexual assault.

There are roughly 70,000 police officers in Canada. Are some problems to be expected in any large group of people? Or is this unacceptable?

Do you trust the police in Canada?

You let us know in our latest CBC Forum — a live, hosted discussion where readers can talk about stories of national interest and the issues that arise from them. 

Here are some of the most interesting comments:

(Please note that usernames are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the username to see the comment in the blog format.)

Many readers said they trust the police. 

"I thought we were trying to refrain from stereotyping huge groups of people." — Eric

"The public gets the policing it deserves. If nobody trusts the police and smears them all as untrustworthy then you're not going to attract quality recruits. It's a self fulfilling prophecy." — TiRand

Others had serious concerns. 

"The G20 was the end of the innocence. I no longer trust the police and our children have been raised not to trust the police." — Westcoaster

"While the majority are most likely decent, their silence is creating an environment where decent people couldn't possibly want to work." — Rose

Some readers offered solutions.

"When the police commit a crime, the punishment should be doubled." — PCSTAR

"I think police recruitment standards need to be updated across the country on both a municipal and provincial level to include psychological assessments of their personality and likelihood to be bullies and abuse their power before they are hired." - DoomedCanadian

And some commenters distinguished between individual police officers and the institution of policing.

"I trust police as individual people trying to do a hard job, but not the system of police unions and slow judicial process that holds up prosecution for years and seems to make firing bad apples very hard." — Stellars Jay

​"I think of them the way I often do of Americans: Individually, you won't find nicer, more accommodating and genuine people, but when you look at them in aggregate, you shake your head wondering what is going on with them." — Black Swan

You can read the full discussion below.

Can't see the forum? Click here.