Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Globe and Mail Interviews the Police Chief

On Dec. 28, The Globe and Mail reporter Timothy Appleby produced a feel-good interview with Toronto Police Chief William Blair. Herewith my e-mail to him, a copy of which was sent to the editor.

I read your interview with Police Chief William Blair in today's paper in eager anticipation you would ask the many questions that go to the heart of transparency, if not honesty of the police force. From a post on my blog:

1. The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs accepts $100,000 from Taser International Inc. as conference sponsor. A CAPC researcher accepts stock options from Taser international. Blair is the president of the CAPC.
Q: Do you want us to believe this money has no influence on your attitude towards tasers?

2. After five years, Toronto police union past-president Bill McCormack continues to be on paid suspension pending investigation of improper conduct charges. The case will not be heard for two more years. Cost so far: Over $500,000.
Q: Can you explain this costly delay?

3. A Toronto trial judge finds that "we have police officers who clearly lied while under oath."
Q: What action was taken against these officers?

4. Toronto police are blamed for drug probe delays.
Q: Can you understand taxpayer cynicism toward law enforcement officers?

5. A special investigation claimed there's a pattern of thefts by the Toronto police drug squad.
Q: What action did you take as a result?

6. Toronto police party with the money received from the sale of stolen bicycles.
Q: (Same as 4)

7. Toronto police enjoy higher salaries than their New York counterparts. By the judicious arrangement of their court appearances on minor traffic charges, some constables earn over $160,000 a year. That's not counting the $60-$70 per hour they get for drinking coffee at construction sites.
Q: What action have you taken to avoid this abuse of authority?

All these items are from newspapers. How much more is there that the media have not uncovered? Citizens are entitled to effective control over police activity. Clearly, we are not getting it.

No comments: