Metropolitan Toronto Police Services Board

40 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. M5G 2J3

Susan Eng, Chair
Fax: 324-0693

John Campbell, Executive Director

March 11, 1993

Lynn Cohen
Sexual Assault Counsellor
Barbara Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
489 College Street
Suite 503
Toronto, Ontario
M6G 1A5

Dear Ms Cohen:

Attached is a recent initiative adopted by the Metropolitan Toronto Police Services Board that I think you will find of interest.

In response to concerns raised regarding gender bias within the internal discipline process, the Board has asked for the Chief's report on the selection criteria and training of Trials Judges. In addition, the Chief has been asked to report on whether gender sensitivity training (similar to that given to provincially and federally appointed judges) has been or can be incorporated into the training of Trials Judges.

If you require additional information on this initiative, please contact Judith Pfeifer, Policy Development Officer, at 324-6010.

Yours truly,

Susan Eng




The Board was in receipt of the following letter February 1, 1993 from Susan Eng, Chair:

SUBJECT: Internal Discipline

RECOMMENDATIONS: THAT this report be received for information.

THAT the Chief of Police report to the Board on the selection criteria used to appoint trial judges, the training received and assess the incorporation of gender sensitivity training.



The Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services into the administration of internal investigations by the Metro Toronto Police Force (Junger/Whitehead Inquiry) focused on the treatment of victims of alleged wrongdoing by the police.

The submission on behalf of Jane Doe highlights "stereotypical and unchallenged assumptions about female victims of sexual assault and harassment, and the causes of this behaviour (alcohol) ... permitted to influence an assessment of the seriousness of the misconduct, and the appropriate penalty." Counsel goes on to state that "the evidence suggest (sic) that sexist attitudes continue to manifest themselves in the investigation and the prosecution of police misconduct against women in such that the issue requires further study and inquiry."

The inquiry asked "How are female victims, particular victims of sexual crimes, treated by the police and the justice system? How can police be more effective in gaining the cooperation of victims?" The panel concluded that "Women view a court hearing on sexual assault as another ordeal to be endured. But with greater support and understanding from the police, as well as others, more of them will come forward to testify."

The OCCPS report states "if police forces expect civilians to come forward with information about allegations against police, they will have to reassure the public that those individuals will be involved and supported throughout the process." The inquiry also recommended that "all Police Services Boards should develop policies committing their police force to the vigorous prosecution of all sexual assaults."

In response to the OCCPS report, the Board has adopted a directive that has established standards of conduct for members of the Force. In addition, the Board has initiated several policies and processes that ensure these standards are followed. The Board has also created mechanisms to ensure that the entire discipline system is monitored by the Board.

The Directive has established the following mechanisms and procedures in order to support victims, and especially where the alleged assailant is a police officer:

  • all investigations of sexual offences are conducted by an officer specially trained to investigate sexual assaults;

  • support is provided to persons complaining of sexual offences;

  • existence of mechanisms for victims and/or complainants to be advised of the progress of disciplinary proceedings and encouraged to participate in such proceedings;

  • to help victim's protect their anonymity by holding the hearing in camera;

  • to provide all victims and/or complainants, whether or not they participated in the hearing of the allegation against the police officer, with the opportunity to have input into any sentence passed by the Trials Officer by means of a Victim Impact Statement.

Thus a standard of conduct with regard to the discipline process has been established. How this standard is implemented is also of concern to the Board.

Internal Force Discipline

The Police Services Act states that the duties of the Chief of Police include "administering the police force and overseeing its operation in accordance with the objectives, priorities and policies established by the board." The Chief is also responsible for "administering discipline in accordance with Part V" of the Act.

Part V of the Act outlines the disciplinary proceedings. This section places a positive requirement for the Chief to investigate any apparent or alleged misconduct (S. 58(1)). The Chief is also given the authority to hold a hearing to determine whether a police officer is guilty of misconduct. Police hearings consist of a Trials Judge, Trials Prosecutor and defence lawyer. The Trials Judge is appointed by the Chief. There is currently a "full-time" Trials Judge at the rank of Superintendent. There are currently five officers, at the rank of superintendent, who have been also designated as trials judges.

It is recommended that the Chief provide the Board with the criteria used to appoint trial judges and outline the training these individuals receive once they are appointed to their position.

Judicial Training

Over the last number of years, the issue of training of federally and provinically appointed judges has been a topic of concern. As a result both governments and the judicial bodies have responded with specialized training. One such type of training is gender sensitivity training which is now a component of the education program that judges undergo.

For the last three years, the National Judicial Institute in Ottawa distributes a training package to newly appointed judges which contain a video on gender bias as well as a book on the issues. The Institute is also integrating gender issues into all of the training received by judges.

In November 1992, provincial division judges in Toronto ran a workshop on gender equality with the help of experts from the Western Judicial Education Centre. The two-day session included round-table discussions in which judges would break off into groups to talk about issues such as consent in sexual assault cases.

There are more than 1,900 judges in Canada, and it is estimated that over 60% of them have received some sort of gender sensitivity training.

As part of the Chief's report on the selection criteria and training of Trials Judges, he should also report whether training as either noted above or similar to the above in content has been received and how gender sensitivity training has been or can be incorporated into this training.

The Board approved the foregoing.

More about Jane Doe... [Junger Clippings] [Junger Inquiry] [Gov. Reports]

Created: May 13, 1998
Last modified: August 7, 1999

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