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Why do police have to stand at construction sites?

A year or two back I was watching a film shoot in the square behind Metro Hall. I don't know what the production was, but it was a scene of a magician levitating a woman far up into the air. They were using Metro Hall as their big city/ maybe Las Vegas hotel backdrop. They had a hundred/two hundred extras to be the audience of the magic show. They'd move them around to fill another space in the square as the cranes again lifted the woman six stories high and they shot from another angle. It looked like boring work for the extras. At one point one of them wandered off outside the metal barriers and one of the paid-duty police, a sort of out of shape long-time officer, rushed up to him and demanded to know what he was doing, why he had left the shoot, told him to get back immediately. I don't know, maybe the officer just always wanted to direct, fancied himself more of the production than he was, but overseeing the low-level employees didn't seem to me to be part of his job. Then the film crew broke for a meal period and that same officer started giving the few of us watching the "nothing to see here, run along now why don't you?" In a city square/park, on a nice evening, in one of the most active areas of downtown, he was all scram, get going, back to your hovels. Usually you see these guys doing nothing at all, and I was about ready to wander off anyway, but when he started yapping it got under my skin, thinking "under what authority does this $65 an hour scam give you to be...".
 
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So... how many people who've posted here have actually been working on a road in Toronto (or any of the GTA for that matter), focusing on what they are doing, and completely vulnerable to traffic?? Has anyone actually experienced how assinine and oblivious many drivers are when going around construction sites?

There are different levels of traffic control available, and yes - there are contracting companies. Their hourly wages may be far less, but the people trained to do the job are also FAR less qualified than a cop - they have taken a multi-day course in order to get their certification for pyloning and traffic control only. A cop has far more extensive training... They are prepared to deal with a number of situations, and have the option of TICKETING drivers who blatantly disregard your site.

Furthermore, similar to the cop, you don't hire an individual to come and stand at your site - you usually hire a company to do the pylons (which yes, also requires training to do properly!), the safety equipment itself (pylons, road signs, flashing lights, a truck with signs to park in the way, etc. - there are road bylaws governing which must be used in different circumstances, right down to the number of pylons, spacing between, and patterns for achieving different detours), you pay for all of the above.

In my field, even for simple jobs in parking lots you always send out two-men crews so that there's one person to work, and one to watch for traffic. In fact, most of our clients require it. I've been in a near-empty parking lot, entirely in the open, surrounded by a ring of pylons, with a co-worker holding a large CAUTION! sign, and had a car back out on top of the pylons and crush our $10,000 equipment. Only being aware and jumping out of the way prevented us from injury or worse. In a parking lot, not even a road with plenty of other distractions for drivers not to mention greater speed!

It's easy to sit by, look at a site, and seeing someone standing around consider that they are of little value. However, when you have 2-3 workers who are exposed to traffic, that $67 divided amongst them, and each of their lives potentially made a little safer.. Well, I always consider that it's worth it. And for companies that don't... while there are cases where it is excessive, perhaps you should be asking about the quality standards that make a company unwilling to shell out a bit of extra cash to maintain a high safety standard for their workers??

As for the comment about OT (or pay-duty) being a perk for cops.. Are you saying that we should all work OT for the same hourly wage, because it's basically a perk that we have the option to collect on extra hours?? Yeah, it's a lot more, but the standard for overtime in many firms is time-and-a-half over 40 hours and double time on Sundays/Holidays. They work stressful jobs that do have a higher risk potential than say, teachers, real estate agents, what-have-you. There need to be some perks to keep people signing up for an otherwise rather thankless job. And if it's a lot more in Toronto... Well, duh! It's the country's biggest city, with the highest crime rates. Cops here have to regularly face the worst aspects of the job, not just giving parking tickets on Main St of Smalltown, ON. Yeah, lots of people would volunteer for standing around doing road duty for $67 - but not a lot of people will deliberately walk into dangerous and frequently horrifying situations for $100, much less $30-something.

And really, if you're going to get into the cops on-site being a gouge for taxpayers.. Why not go after any one of a million other things first? What about the safety meetings every single day that workers are charging for? The fact that PPE is often worked into billing costs to help companies save on overhead? The hours of total time spent clipping in and out of fall arrest on that slim, slim chance that you might actually fall?

Fact is, safety precautions are there to make people's jobs... safer. They can be a pain, time-consuming, and costly. But lost lives, injuries, etc. come at a far higher cost. I'd happily dish out my tax money for 100,000 cops to stand useless if it meant that ONE accident was averted.


Ya sorry, nice try. But it is a rackett that is unique to Toronto and a few other older cities. It has its roots from the days long ago when policing was more of a blue collar job and it was tactic for the cops to justify a way of topping up there paycheques. Now these days that police salary increases have FAR outpaced the average salary increase...its just a ludicrous notion to have a highly trained, armed officer who makes around 100k a year...stand around on street corners at construction sites. Calgary went through a HUGE growth in the 2000s city has expanded with construction and huge population increases.....yet somehow we still do fine with our rubber pylons.

The over the top safety argument is silly......show us some evidence that there was some sort of escalating problem of increased injuries and deaths at these constriction sites (and even then the need for an armed cop is nonsense )
 
Why don't they just use the Auxiliary Constables that Toronto police has?....they are uninformed and trained ....yes a lot less training and no gun...but they are exactly what is needed.....oh and they are volunteers so its FREE
 
The over the top safety argument is silly......show us some evidence that there was some sort of escalating problem of increased injuries and deaths at these constriction sites (and even then the need for an armed cop is nonsense )

If it just saves ooonnne life......:D
 
A year or two back I was watching a film shoot in the square behind Metro Hall. I don't know what the production was, but it was a scene of a magician levitating a woman far up into the air. They were using Metro Hall as their big city/ maybe Las Vegas hotel backdrop. They had a hundred/two hundred extras to be the audience of the magic show. They'd move them around to fill another space in the square as the cranes again lifted the woman six stories high and they shot from another angle. It looked like boring work for the extras. At one point one of them wandered off outside the metal barriers and one of the paid-duty police, a sort of out of shape long-time officer, rushed up to him and demanded to know what he was doing, why he had left the shoot, told him to get back immediately. I don't know, maybe the officer just always wanted to direct, fancied himself more of the production than he was, but overseeing the low-level employees didn't seem to me to be part of his job of construction security officer. Then the film crew broke for a meal period and that same officer started giving the few of us watching the "nothing to see here, run along now why don't you?" In a city square/park, on a nice evening, in one of the most active areas of downtown, he was all scram, get going, back to your hovels. Usually you see these guys doing nothing at all, and I was about ready to wander off anyway, but when he started yapping it got under my skin, thinking "under what authority does this $65 an hour scam give you to be...".
They get $50+ an hour for standing there doing nothing... And if its on a main road, theres at least 2 of them. Waste of taxpayer money, so why is it done?
 
They get $50+ an hour for standing there doing nothing... And if its on a main road, theres at least 2 of them. Waste of taxpayer money, so why is it done?
The police are charging their time to the builder, or film production company, or whomever. It's a racket, but it isn't being paid for by taxpayers.

P.S: TPS charges $90/hr, with a $270 minimum, for a constable. If you need 4 or more constables, then you also need to hire a Sergeant.
 
The police are charging their time to the builder, or film production company, or whomever. It's a racket, but it isn't being paid for by taxpayers.

P.S: TPS charges $90/hr, with a $270 minimum, for a constable. If you need 4 or more constables, then you also need to hire a Sergeant.
The city has tried to cut back on cops at construction but the police union likes the extra $ for their members. I agree it gives a very poor picture of cops and detracts from their constant chant that it's a dangerous job. Frankly, many other jobs are far more dangerous, but those folk do not get 'danger pay' nor do they know more about opticians than the pols like.
 
The city has tried to cut back on cops at construction but the police union likes the extra $ for their members. I agree it gives a very poor picture of cops and detracts from their constant chant that it's a dangerous job. Frankly, many other jobs are far more dangerous, but those folk do not get 'danger pay' nor do they know more about opticians than the pols like.
It’s really a job for Traffic Wardens.
 
It’s really a job for Traffic Wardens.
In most places I have lived, almost all of the 'traffic control' at construction sites is done by construction workers. Only in VERY busy or very dangerous places do the police get called in. The situation in Toronto looks to me like a very nice and well paid 'overtime' task for cops and I suspect that it was probably introduced at some time in the past to give their cop friends more $$.
 

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