Wednesday, October 20, 2010

TTC Special Constables to become Security Guards

Well, it's been a little while since I posted anything. This story I ran across today grabbed my attention.

Police to end TTC ‘special constable’ program

There will be more security on the TTC next year but fewer officers endowed with the power to use force and detain suspected criminals, drunks or people with mental health issues.

Despite objections from the TTC, the Toronto Police Services Board is expected to vote Thursday to terminate the TTC’s special constable program in favour of doubling the police transit patrol unit to 80 officers.

The TTC’s own force of about 120 transit officers, without special constable powers, will be reduced to about 100 security officers, who would be confined mostly to fare and bylaw enforcement.

“The public will get high visibility, greater resources in terms of dealing with public safety, as well as a group of people who will be publicly accountable,” said police board chair Alok Mukherjee.

Special constables, he said, are not governed by the Police Services Act, the SIU (Special Investigations Unit) or the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.

TTC officials say, however, that special constables are accountable to the police service. Complaints about them go to Toronto Police, who can follow up on a complaint or send it back to be dealt with by the TTC. [SNIP]

Does anyone see anything wrong with this article, or the current description of the "Special Constables"? They can make arrests like police officers, do similar duties of police officers on TTC property, but they AREN'T governed by the Police Services Act. I am surprised that this has been going on like this.

Some of the complaints about the downgrade of their status are bogus in my books. They still retain the right to arrest people under the Trespass to Property act, like all security guards do. They still maintain a role of security on TTC property. Now they will just have to wait for police to take suspects off their hands.

As well, they won't be armed with "pepper foam", whatever the heck that stuff is. The part that got my attention was their wages compared with police officers here in Toronto:

TRANSIT SPECIAL CONSTABLES

• Earn $65,374 to $81,682, working through a six-year pay grid.
[SNIP]

TORONTO POLICE OFFICERS

• Earn $50,558 (cadet in training) to $81,046 (first class constable) working through a five-year pay grid.
[SNIP]

So a TTC union member as a special constable makes more than a member of the Toronto Police force. Sure they will say their job is dangerous, but for some reason I don't think it's as dangerous as a police officer.

And people wonder why the TTC costs so much to ride? Sure there are only 120 Special Constables at the moment. I am willing to bet though that the rest of the TTC employees wages aren't far off from that scale.

4 comments:

  1. 187 to ttc sercurity

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  2. Thanks for sharing this information. Very sensible. That somehow cleared up my mind regarding TTC. And they really should put into consideration the visibility of public safety.

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  3. Well as a former Transit Security Investigator (As we were once called) I see a dilema for the safety of the public. Sure TPS does a great job, but to call Transit Constables wannabes???? I think not. You would be surprised to learn that there are some former TPS staff on board and some for many years. I realize Bill Blair has a job to do, and also cut his own budget and avoid duplicity where possible, but in this case leave well enough alone. Swear the former TSC to full constables, and allow the specialists to do what they do best.. As for the rest of the non sworn security staff??? Maintain status quo. Work together (I mean the same city, taxpayers cash right???) the accountability will be there, and so will the improved relationships.. BTW... Anyone that has held any capacity in a security position knows how time consuming it is to wait and then turn over an accused to Police. And as in every barrel there is bound to be a few who abuse power.. nuff said?????

    The "Behemoth" # 89

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  4. There will be more security on the TTC next year but fewer officers endowed with the power to use force and detain suspected criminals, drunks or people with mental health issues. The FSS website

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