Toronto police always get their recruit

New recruiting tactics attract qualified officers, boost service’s diversity
By Danielle Francis
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/15/2007

The labour market has been the hot talk among strategists, politicians and the HR community for years. They, like most corporations and government agencies, have been concerned about the rapidly aging workforce. In an attempt to stem the projected labour crisis, organizations are beginning to tap into previously under-represented groups in the workforce. This approach has been implemented in numerous industries and the world of policing has not been any different.

For the Toronto Police Service (TPS) especially, it has been a two-fold issue. Not only is it facing a projected labour shortage in a few years, it is imperative that its workforce reflects the communities it serves if it’s going to continue to effectively police them. Whether it’s translations or cultural understanding of how to proceed with investigations, having a more reflective police service goes a long way in keeping the city safe. It is also important in building community partnerships. It’s these partnerships, along with strong enforcement, that have made Toronto one of the safest big cities in North America.

This organizational culture shift could not have been undertaken without the support of the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB). The TPSB has been forward-thinking in setting the tone for the police service’s future, as was evidenced in 2005 when it appointed William Blair as chief of police. Blair brought a fresh perspective, a history of success, a vast understanding of effective policing and a passion for diversity to the job.