Encouraging community support for alternatives to policing was the heart of the ReThink Policing campaign
Over policing of people facing barriers happens far too often in Toronto:
Black and Indigenous people are up to six times more likely to be carded, four times as likely to be charged and 20 times as likely to be killed by police.
People who are homeless interact with police ten times more than the average person and receive up to 16,000 tickets per year – most of which are never paid.
Youth are three times as likely to be stopped in street checks and four times as likely to be searched.
People having mental health crises make up 3% of police interventions but account for 11% of all uses of force and 40% of all taser use.
The need for change is evident. It’s time to ReThink Policing.
Together with Toronto Neighbourhood Centres and other agency partners, a grassroots campaign led by our Board of Directors’ Advocacy Committee started spreading the word in July 2021: Police reform events included city councillors, community agencies, and organizations focused on advocacy, research and education; deputations were made to City Council and the Police Board; social media shared facts, videos, stories and messages for councillors; and media started telling the tale.
In March 2022, the pilot project with civilian-led mental health crisis response teams began. The next step? To continue police reform for the 21st century challenges faced by the city’s most vulnerable people.