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Why do police have to stand at construction sites?

Yep. 30 minutes after I posted that message I saw my first paid duty officer in several weeks, this one being on Eglinton.
 
The Public Works Committee has this up for a vote today.

Summary
This report is in response to the Auditor General's review of the Toronto Paid Duty Police Officer System and his recommendations related to the Transportation Services Division, as well as the direction given by the Audit Committee at its May 12, 2011 meeting.

This report recommends eliminating the specific requirement for hiring paid duty officers in the Transportation Services Division’s permits, documents, and policies. To provide guidance on the use of police officers at Transportation Services Division projects, a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Transportation Services Division and the Toronto Police Service has been developed. This report recommends that the previous policy of requiring a paid duty officer(s) whenever there is construction within 30 metres of a signalized intersection be eliminated. To ensure safety of all road and right-of-way users, Transportation Services and Toronto Police Service staff and the applicant will discuss and determine the appropriate traffic control measures for the proposed construction project or street event.

These changes will reduce the requirements for paid duty officers at construction projects and street events resulting in savings to the City and taxpayers.
 
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Something intelligent happening under Ford? Clearly Ford couldn't have had anything to do with this.
 
I realize this is an old thread, but I thought this article was appropriate here:

The Star: Paid duty means Toronto cops make out like bandits: Hume

There are those who are paid to only stand and wait. In this city, that means the police, lots and lots of them. They can be seen hanging around just about every festival, construction site, concert, marathon, parade . . . And although they do little, they get paid a lot, between $66.50 and $83.50 an hour.

As organizers of the proposed street closure discovered, it adds up. The cost of closing Yonge and Church between Bloor and Queen and Bloor from Parliament to High Park four Sunday mornings, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., comes in at $840,000.

That’s how much it will cost to have a cop at every corner; $210,000 a morning, four mornings.

The intention, of course, was to borrow an idea that has helped other cities reclaim their downtown core. The closures are temporary, and designed to bring out pedestrians, cyclists and intoxicate them with freedom of the street, if only briefly.

“What I don’t understand,” says councillor Krystin Wong-Tam, speaking on behalf of all Torontonians, “is why this isn’t part of normal police activity.”

Good question.


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To be honest, I do think there is more justification for cops to work events like these as paid-duty officers than many of the construction sites, but the pay is still ludicrous IMO. We need to explore the possibility of hiring 3rd party security firms. And if it's really not possible because of safety issues and what not, then the the police force needs to charge reasonable amounts. $67-$84 per hour per person for this service is ludicrous.
 
I think we should have municipally-employed traffic wardens, with one traffic services police officer assigned to assist each 4th or 5th warden where necessary. They'd be similar to school crossing guards, watching (and directing) traffic around closures and construction work and where necessary (such as around Union Station or after a game or concert) coordinating traffic and pedestrian movements at busy intersections (like you see in Chicago). A fair wage (ie $15/hour starting) would be paid, which is still much lower than paid-duty cops.

Cops would be around to assist (though not standing in one place) to ticket cars or deal with matters of safety, checking up on the wardens.

University and college students would be especially useful as part-time workers as most events and road closures occur on weekends and during the summer.
 
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I realize this is an old thread, but I thought this article was appropriate here:

The Star: Paid duty means Toronto cops make out like bandits: Hume

There are those who are paid to only stand and wait. In this city, that means the police, lots and lots of them. They can be seen hanging around just about every festival, construction site, concert, marathon, parade . . . And although they do little, they get paid a lot, between $66.50 and $83.50 an hour.

As organizers of the proposed street closure discovered, it adds up. The cost of closing Yonge and Church between Bloor and Queen and Bloor from Parliament to High Park four Sunday mornings, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., comes in at $840,000.

That’s how much it will cost to have a cop at every corner; $210,000 a morning, four mornings.

The intention, of course, was to borrow an idea that has helped other cities reclaim their downtown core. The closures are temporary, and designed to bring out pedestrians, cyclists and intoxicate them with freedom of the street, if only briefly.

“What I don’t understand,†says councillor Krystin Wong-Tam, speaking on behalf of all Torontonians, “is why this isn’t part of normal police activity.â€

Good question.


---

To be honest, I do think there is more justification for cops to work events like these as paid-duty officers than many of the construction sites, but the pay is still ludicrous IMO. We need to explore the possibility of hiring 3rd party security firms. And if it's really not possible because of safety issues and what not, then the the police force needs to charge reasonable amounts. $67-$84 per hour per person for this service is ludicrous.
Why do they need to charge anything? They are already paid a salary. Plus why exactly would police be needed during that stretch if it were closed to cars? Are the police needed along that stretch at other times with cars? I do not understand why it would cost anything extra at all other than i the past the police getting away with charging for these events. Most of the times the great majority are just driving in their police cars.
 
I think we should have municipally-employed traffic wardens, with one traffic services police officer assigned to assist each 4th or 5th warden where necessary. They'd be similar to school crossing guards, watching (and directing) traffic around closures and construction work and where necessary (such as around Union Station or after a game or concert) coordinating traffic and pedestrian movements at busy intersections (like you see in Chicago). A fair wage (ie $15/hour starting) would be paid, which is still much lower than paid-duty cops.

Cops would be around to assist (though not standing in one place) to ticket cars or deal with matters of safety, checking up on the wardens.

University and college students would be especially useful as part-time workers as most events and road closures occur on weekends and during the summer.
I'm not sure this makes sense. If I were a company or whatever hiring a security company for this sort of work, I don't think I'd want a security company that has a high turnover of employees who are mainly just students. Furthermore, I don't think the $15 pay rate would attract quality employees.

$70 is too high, but $15 is too low IMO. IOW, I would not want the Wal-Mart of security companies working my event or construction site or whatever.

Why do they need to charge anything? They are already paid a salary. Plus why exactly would police be needed during that stretch if it were closed to cars? Are the police needed along that stretch at other times with cars? I do not understand why it would cost anything extra at all other than i the past the police getting away with charging for these events. Most of the times the great majority are just driving in their police cars.
Well yes, I agree a lot of this needs to be re-evaluated, but I do understand the need for serious security at some events. In that context, police on paid duty may make the most sense. An example of this might be Caribana (or whatever it's called these days).
 
Why do they need to charge anything? They are already paid a salary. Plus why exactly would police be needed during that stretch if it were closed to cars? Are the police needed along that stretch at other times with cars? I do not understand why it would cost anything extra at all other than i the past the police getting away with charging for these events. Most of the times the great majority are just driving in their police cars.

In this case the extra police would be needed to direct traffic to prevent people from trying to drive past the barricades. There is a regular contingent of police officers who are doing their normal work and then there are the additional officers needed for traffic duty. If they took the regular contingent off duty and put them to work directing traffic crimes might go unsolved.

What they really need to do is take all the parking cops and train them to direct traffic.
 
I'm not sure this makes sense. If I were a company or whatever hiring a security company for this sort of work, I don't think I'd want a security company that has a high turnover of employees who are mainly just students. Furthermore, I don't think the $15 pay rate would attract quality employees.

$70 is too high, but $15 is too low IMO. IOW, I would not want the Wal-Mart of security companies working my event or construction site or whatever.

At road construction and any non-freeway in Ontario, any person with a flag (slow/stop paddle) can be used to stop traffic. These are very often students.
 
I think we should have municipally-employed traffic wardens, with one traffic services police officer assigned to assist each 4th or 5th warden where necessary. They'd be similar to school crossing guards, watching (and directing) traffic around closures and construction work and where necessary (such as around Union Station or after a game or concert) coordinating traffic and pedestrian movements at busy intersections (like you see in Chicago).
In Manhattan this work is done by regular NYPD. Any visitor to Manhattan would be surprised by the presence of police on foot at nearly every major intersection. How do they afford that?
 
In Manhattan this work is done by regular NYPD. Any visitor to Manhattan would be surprised by the presence of police on foot at nearly every major intersection. How do they afford that?

Most traffic duties in NYC are managed by unarmed and cheaper Traffic Enforcement Agents - like our parking enforcement officers but with traffic management training. No reason why we couldn't do the same.

Manhattan streets are swarming with cops because they are cheap and there is a large population to manage. The beat cops are glorified security guards at best - spend five minutes interacting with them and you'll be a lot less likely to criticize TPS...
 
Isn't glorified security guards what the job calls for? Really, I don't know what the difference is. Most days walking around the most populated sections of Toronto, it wouldn't be often that I'd see signs of a police officer. Contrast this to the TTC, which has a similar budget. I'd see TTC workers and their vehicles all day. Since I see few police out on the street, there's little opportunity to spend five minutes interacting with them. I do know that when I see them in swarms at events they're usually hanging out in groups by the barricades, often checking their phones. Actual security guards are more engaged. Other large scale events, like concerts and professional sporting events, are probably watched over by students and others in need of a job at $15 an hour, and it seems to work out okay.
 
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In Manhattan this work is done by regular NYPD. Any visitor to Manhattan would be surprised by the presence of police on foot at nearly every major intersection. How do they afford that?

The NYC police aren't paid as much as the Toronto police. Nearly 3,000 Toronto police officers, made more than $100,000 a year last year.
 

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