Toronto officers won't take off protest ball caps, despite police chief order

Officers have been ordered to take off their union caps, worn in protest of cutbacks to the police force.

Police Chief Mark Saunders ordered TPS members to ditch the caps by 6 a.m. Tuesday

Toronto police officers were spotted wearing TPA caps overnight on Monday, just hours before Police Chief Mark Saunders ordered that they take them off. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

The head of the Toronto police union says that ball caps worn by officers to protest cuts to the force aren't coming off, despite orders from police Chief Mark Saunders that officers return to approved uniforms by 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

"Our members will continue to wear the hats until they feel that their voices have been heard," said Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association (TPA).

Police officers were spotted wearing caps emblazoned with "TPA" beginning late last week.

Tension has been brewing between the police union and TPS leadership for months, with the TPA launching a website called "Stop the Police Cuts" in July following a 2016 hiring freeze.

Last week, McCormack told CBC Toronto that the force has lost a significant number of officers to retirement and resignation, arguing that the force's dwindling numbers were "jeopardizing public safety" and causing 911 call wait times to balloon.

On Tuesday, he said the TPA is in dialogue with the police chief and chair to "get some meaningful solutions to these issues."

"I'm feeling optimistic that there will be some resolutions that will be positive for everybody," he said.