Toronto Police Chief urges good governance and civilian oversight


Chief of the Toronto Police Service, William Blair, says good governance and civilian oversight are necessary components for effective policing.
“We have discovered that when a significant portion of your population does not believe that they are going to be treated fairly by the police, they do not cooperate fully with the police. Without that corporation we cannot be successful in our mission to keep our communities safe,” Mr. Blair said.
Speaking at a press briefing at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Wednesday (November 24), he said that it was important for the police to embrace oversight and governance to be worthy of public trust.
“I have been very impressed with the opportunity I have had here, to meet with officials of the Jamaican government and the Jamaica Constabulary Force. They are committed in finding an effective way to bring good governance, good oversight and to build trust between the police here in Jamaica and the citizens they serve,” Mr. Blair said.
He stated that the police force should never act on its own volition, but should be guided by the governance of a civilian authority.
“We are accountable to people, but there has to be an appropriate mechanism to ensure that accountability exists and, from our experience, a properly supported and properly resourced civilian authority makes it possible for us to do that,” he said.
The Toronto Police Chief arrived in Jamaica on Monday, (November 22) and left Wednesday, after taking part in a series of talks organised by the UWI and the Police Services Commission (PSC).
During his visit, he participated in a symposium on the Control and Prevention of Transnational Crime. He also held discussions with key officials of the Government, the private sector and civil society, as well as the leadership of the JCF, sharing his perspectives on relevant lessons to be learnt from his Canadian experience.
This is the second in a series of planned visits by prominent international Crime Management experts, with knowledge of contemporary trends in Policing, being organised by The UWI, Mona, in collaboration with the PSC. The visits are intended to facilitate an interaction between these experts and key persons associated with the transformation of the JCF, allowing for an exchange of perspectives, ideas and recommendations on specific elements of the transformation.

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