Multi-coloured, rounded lines create a forked path as they meander and intersect across a pale lilac background that has a luminescence.

This illustration follows the lines and flow of one of the existing Toronto Police Service charts, depicting their process.

Original artwork by Surface Impression (Aedán Crooke) for the Information Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

Toronto Police Service

Race and Identity-Based Data Collection Strategy aims to build trust and bring meaningful change

Through its Race and Identity-Based Data Collection Strategy, the Toronto Police Service collects, analyzes and shares information about police interactions, such as use of force and strip searches, to identify and address racial disparities in policing.

The Toronto Police Service Board’s Race and Identity-Based Data Collection Strategy involves collecting, analyzing and reporting on racial disparities in outcomes in police interactions. It flows from Ontario’s Anti-Racism Act 2017, which requires public bodies to collect race-based data to identify and monitor systemic racism and racial disparities for the purpose of eliminating systemic racism and advancing racial equity.

The service has gone beyond basic requirements and practices, focusing not only on differences by race in use of force but also in strip searches, arrests, apprehensions, and youth diversion. They undertook their largest and most sustained effort to continuously engage members of the public of all age groups and particularly Black and racialized community members across the city. A community advisory panel has guided this work, and so far, they have held 50 focus groups, 20 town halls, and many meetings with stakeholders and members. This has helped ensure the process is inclusive and transparent and that the analysis is informed by diverse expertise and real, lived experiences.

In June 2022, the service published what the media called a “landmark report” identifying disproportionalities regarding race and the use of force and strip searches, and areas for organizational change, with 38 concrete actions to address disparities reported. In November 2022 they followed up, publishing additional open data and detailed technical reports with tools to help understand and visualize the data they shared.

By being transparent with respect to the strategy, by involving the community to inform and guide it along the way, and by making the findings and related open data accessible, the service aims to build trust with the public it serves and bring about meaningful changes in policing.