Toronto

Parts of police chief reviews following SIU probes to be made public

Parts of reports prepared by the Toronto police chief following SIU investigations will be made public, including the report on the death of Andrew Loku, the Toronto Police Services Board announced Thursday.

Interim reporting process for Section 11 reviews to be finalized next month

Andrew Loku, 45, was shot by police after he refused to drop a hammer he was carrying. (Handout photo)

Parts of reports prepared by the Toronto police chief following SIU investigations will be made public, including the report on the death of Andrew Loku, the Toronto Police Services Board announced Thursday.

The reports, known as Section 11 administrative reports, are required under the Police Services Act. They review policy, procedures, service, officer conduct and training, among other things, identify any gaps and make recommendations for changes.

"The Board acknowledges that there is considerable public interest in these reports," said a statement posted to the board's website.

"The need for greater public disclosure and transparency must be balanced with valid concerns about privacy, confidentiality and legal considerations involved."

The board will develop an interim public reporting process to "disclose as much information as is possible in the circumstances of the case and will include such information as the scope of review, the conclusions reached, and any recommendations for change."

The new process will come into effect on June 17. The board is also open to reviewing this new policy after a review of police oversight agencies is complete. That review is being conducted by Justice Michael Tulloch.

The province's Special Investigation's Unit (SIU) is called in when a civilian's interaction with police results in death or injury.

The SIU probe into the death of Andrew Loku, who was shot dead by police last July, concluded that charges weren't warranted against the officer involved.

A coroner's inquest has been called into Loku's death.

'Accountability and transparency'

Police Chief Mark Saunders said Thursday he wants to provide the most information he can about incidents involving police.

"Accountability and transparency is something we're always interested in, especially whenever there's a police encounter and a loss of life involved," Saunders told reporters.

"We have to get it right and make sure we sit down and make sure the things that we do are legal and do provide the most information we possibly can so the public has a better understanding of what we're doing and why we're doing what we're doing. And what we can do to improve on our actions the next time, whether it be our training, whether it be the tools or equipment that we have and how we can be better the next time."

Saunders would not say what parts of the Section 11 report into Loku's death will be made public. However, privacy legislation prohibits some names from being released. For example, the names of officers involved in the incident cannot be made public if no criminal charges are laid.

Mayor John Tory, who sits on the Toronto Police Services Board, said lawyers will have to advise what can and cannot be made public under current provincial legislation.

But the new Section 11 reporting process, Tory said, is part of "a fundamental transformation of policing in this city.

"And I think that when the efforts of that task force are made known to people, they're going to be very gratified by the fact that we are looking at real change that is going to bring modernized policing in the context of 2016 and beyond."

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