Monday, November 17, 2014

Number of officers patrolling Toronto schools down despite rise in weapons-related suspensions

The number of police officers patrolling the hallways at Toronto public schools has dropped in recent years, despite a spike in weapons-related suspensions.

During the last school year, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) handed out 73 suspensions and expulsions for possession of a weapon, according to records obtained recently by CTV Toronto. That is nearly double from the previous year, when there were 42 such cases.

Despite the increase, however, the number of school resource officers has been on the decline since the introduction of the program following the 2007 shooting death of a Grade 9 student.

Jordan Manners was fatally shot inside C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute, a west-end school located in the Finch Avenue West and Sentinel Road area, on May 23, 2007. His death was the first-ever fatal shooting inside a Toronto high school.

Months later, in early 2008, Police Chief Bill Blair approached the board about implementing the school resource officer program. When it was rolled out that same year, there were 50 police officers assigned to TDSB schools.

That number has since dropped to 38.  (more...)

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