Toronto

Toronto school officer program to be reviewed by Ryerson researchers

Toronto's police board has committed to reviewing a controversial program that stations uniformed officers in Toronto-area schools — but the officers will be on school premises when students head back to the classroom this September.

Interim report on the review's findings is expected to be released in January

The Toronto Police Services Board discussed reviewing the school officer program on Thursday. (CBC)

The Toronto's Police Services Board voted unanimously Thursday to review a controversial program that stations uniformed officers in Toronto-area schools — but the officers will be on school premises when students head back to the classroom this September.

The move comes two months after the board voted to defer a decision on whether to end the School Resources Officer (SRO) program — which deploys 36 officers to 75 schools across the city — until December, instead of striking a committee to review the matter.

Details about what the review will entail are thin.

Neither Chief Mark Saunders nor the board would say who will be conducting the process, except to say the assessment will be carried out by researchers at Ryerson University.

The board did say it can't and won't stop the program without first looking into it thoroughly.

Toronto police first assigned officers to 30 high schools around the city in 2008 to improve safety and perceptions of the police.

But a number of deputants at the board meeting on Thursday demanded that the board shutter the program entirely due to concerns over racial and anti-immigrant bias.
 
An interim report on the review's findings is expected to be released in January.


   
   
   

With files from The Canadian Press

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