TORONTO – The union representing frontline Toronto police officers has asked the police chief, police board and an independent watchdog to investigate Deputy Chief Peter Sloly for his comments criticizing the force and its billion-dollar budget, Global News has learned.
Sloly hosted a 70-minute online Q&A session Friday, where he delivered candid criticisms of the Toronto Police Service’s “unfocused” policing model, spending and what he called its slow embrace of technology and social media.
The police services board recently green-lit a 2.76 per cent budget increase for 2016, which pushes the overall budget north of $1 billion for the first time, with nearly 90 per cent of that going to salaries and benefits.
READ MORE: Toronto Police Service Board approves $27 million budget increase
The vote came just days after a $200,000 report from consulting firm KPMG, which suggested multiple ways for police to cut costs and improve efficiency.
Sloly echoed the report in his online chat Friday, arguing police in the city could provide necessary services with fewer officers but a more modernized approach.
“We run around all over the city in the most unfocused way, reacting to what you call us for, as opposed to trying to understand what’s going on and. . . putting our most important resources in the best place.”
George Cowley, counsel for the Toronto Police Association, said Monday the union has asked the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, Chief Mark Saunders and the chair of the police services board requesting they investigate Sloly over his comments.
“Like all police officers in Ontario, a Deputy Chief should be held accountable for his/her actions,” Cowley said in an email.
The OCPC is an independent watchdog agency with a wide oversight mandate, including investigations into conduct of police officers and brass.
With files from Caryn Lieberman.