CBC Forum: Do you still have faith in Canadian police?

Four Toronto police officers have been arrested and charged with obstructing justice and perjury - the latest in a string of bad news about Canadian police. Do you have faith in the country's police?

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    Good morning/afternoon. Welcome to the latest CBC Forum.
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    Our topic today is Canadian policing.
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    Given some of the recent stories about police officers in Canada, do you have faith in their abilities and integrity? Does it matter which city you're in?

    4 Toronto police officers charged with perjury, obstructing justice

    Four Toronto police officers have been arrested and charged with 17 offences — nine counts of obstructing justice and eight counts of perjury, Chief Mark Saunders told a news conference this morning.

    Police officer in Halifax accused of stealing chemical used to cut drugs

    Const. Laurence Gary Basso has been charged with theft, breach of trust and obstruction of justice.


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    Mayor John Tory, shortly after the latest charges were announced, said he believes the case "will be dealt with appropriately."

    "In a big organization like this, are you going to have incidents like this — sometimes in bunches — that are incidents that are troubling and concerning? Of course. The real measure is how you handle those and how you deal with those," Tory said.

    Do you agree?

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    I do trust the police! Every profession has some bad apples.
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    Comming from a policing family , these guys work really hard, however like all professions a few bad apples ruins it for them all.
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    I don't trust all police...... but as a whole I trust them more then I trust my fellow citizens to NOT be provocative and antagonize them, especially anyone below the age of 30.
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    I do not trust the police, too many stories about unnecessary violence. There was an incident in which they mistakenly apprehended 2 underage boys who matched a description and wound up breaking this teenagers hand, and laughed at him when he asked for medical attention. I have seen them throw people on the ground. They are often rude and brutal. They do not get enough training to deal adequately with social issues that they face probably daily...and they make 75000 dollars a year. If the public is paying that much they should get full rounded training-or be required to get it- a DEGREE... They should ALL have body cams on whenever on duty...at all times. Full accountability is the only thing that will bring back public trust and appropriate behaviour on the job.
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    yes of course I still trust the police. Most allegations against police result in being unfounded so your quoted numbers are a bit misleading. There are bad apples in every bunch and policing is no different. They are human beings. Most of them are trustworthy and provide a good service, putting their lives on the line for us. CBC loves to get the anti police slant going.
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    I no longer trust or respect the Toronto Police. Too many are bullies with badges. They have developed a culture of us vs them. I've personally witnessed Toronto Police escalating situations through their aggressive behaviour. I'm appalled that Officer Forcillo is not only free on bail, but still being paid after having been convicted of attempted murder. All other citizens would be in jail, and have no expectation of pay.
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    I'm closer to 60 years than 50. I spent a lifetime respecting police, up until recently. It seems that police work does attract the "wrong type", the "I am powerful and macho type", and that a code of silence/brotherhood protects them. While the majority are most likely decent, their silence is creating an environment where decent people couldn't possibly want to work. So, the quality of the people in police work is declining. How to resolve this? Identify those who are not suitable for police work, expel them from the force before they do serious harm. They can happily work in other sectors.
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    I thought we were trying to refrain from stereotyping huge groups of people. There are 5 bad apples all in the Toronto police dept. From that we are asking about ALL Canadian police? Way to be lazy.

    I agree with what others have said. Bad apples in every profession. But we do need to remove the "immunity" that so many police claim to have. If they do wrong, they need to be punished like anyone else.
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    Trust the police? Always! In Canada!
    All these inquiries show me safeguards are in place and if there is something wrong it will be addressed
    Body cams mandatory wear should make this easier for police officers too
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    We have bad doctors, bad politicians and a very few bad cops, all comes with being human. So when problems arise who you gonna call?
    I trust my police cause there are too many others that can't be trusted.
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    There were 5 "bad apples" that were caught.. who knows how many that weren't caught yet.
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    The police for the most part are trustworthy. Unfortunately the bad apples taint the image of those that serve responsibly and within the rules they swore to abide. I think the problem is that to many within the ranks protect those that disregard the rules and those that speak out are admonished by superiors and mocked by peers. The time has come for an arms length board to deal with internal strife in the police services that go against the Act. No more judging by peers with potential prejudice against it's own.
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    Hi, IWoody. In Ontario, the Special Investigations Unit investigates any case involving police where there has been death, serious injuries or sex assault allegations. Is that not enough?


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    I can't tell the good from the bad, so since the High River gun grab, I don't trust any of them.
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    This is the story Bill Cascadden is referring to: 

    RCMP watchdog raps Mounties over High River gun seizures during 2013 flood

    The RCMP watchdog says Mounties improperly took guns from flood-stricken homes in Alberta two years ago — seizures that angered High River residents and fostered mistrust of the national police force.

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    Not when it comes to the " BLUE CODE " they will cover for each other even when they know its wrong. They never throw each other under the bus as it were.
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    Trust? No. I was brought up to respect the police, but given the actions of so many forces across the country since the g8/g20 fiasco, the RCMP's reluctance to investigate missing and murdered aboriginal women, the allegations about sexual assaults by police in Quebec, the way the Toronto police handled an obviously mentally ill teenager? no, I don't trust them. It is unfortunate for the few who understand how policing works are tainted by the rest, but then again, it is they who need to police themselves before they can presume to police others.
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    Selfless acts of courage and heroism on the part of our police should also be newsworthy, so as to provide a more balanced perspective. It is extremely disturbing that our police are trained to shoot center mass, no matter the circumstances, when they do decide to fire. It is also troubling that we have police shooting and killing people (including the mentally disturbed) who are not holding guns, instead of standing back and de-escalating the situation where knives or other close-proximity threats are involved. But I have faith that the overwhelming majority of our police forces are serving for all the right reasons, and in all the right ways, that we have historically come to admire.
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    Trust can never be the case as long as Police actions are investigated by Police. The 2007 Vancouver Airport incident and similar incidents are enough to destroy such trust if it existed.
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    Do I trust the police in Canada?

    In a word: No.

    Trust has to be earned. Almost every encounter with police, the attitude is one of more enforcement of power and even bullying than one of service. This is not surprising. Any human organization is untrustworthy when it is given too much power and not enough public oversight, as police forces have.
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    To the gentleman who waited outside the woods after he heard I went in there with a gun and a child (we were going hunting) and then made sure everything was in order- yes. That's what being a police officer is about.

    To the goons from the G20, and ones that ask questions they have no business asking, the ones who drive like idiots because they can, and the ones who don't even return a wave on neighbourhood streets? No respect to me- no respect from me. Simple. I trust professional police officers that are in it to serve the community. I like to hope that is most of them, but unfortunately news reports of late keep wearing down my optimism
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    Not even a little bit. Police are out of control. One more example: my sister was the victim of a hit & run. She was given a bogus traffic ticket yet the offender got away scott-free even though she provided the police with his license plate number and they located him.. The cop who 'investigated' has a long history of complaints but remains on the force.
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    living in north america for the last 25 years, and not being white, I certainly do not trust that when the police approaches me that they aren't looking to find any little excuse to screw me over - and it only takes that one experience to instill this even though I've never been charged for anything and am generally a law-abiding citizen. corruption has always been there amongst those who are charged with protecting us - it's only becoming more visible now.
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    I trust the police, don't let a couple bad officers tarnish the whole profession.
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    Despite all the attempts by the media to tell me otherwise, yes I still trust the police.

    I judge them based on personal positive interactions I have had, not based on something that occurred in the southern United States that for some reason is being reported in my local Canadian news paper.

    There are over a million police officers in North America, each of which have tens of thousands of interactions with the public (including criminals) every year. The positive interactions go unreported, while a high percentage of the negative ones get reported.

    Unfortunately the media's goal of creating this 'police vs citizens' dichotomy actually creating more problems.
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    I don't trust police at all and sadly I never will. I had an issue where I was accused of a crime and my multinational firm had their chief of security look at it (25 year RCMP vet of major crimes squad) and he flatly said that the officers involved shouldn't be on the force. When someone of that expertise says that and you can't get anyone on the force to even discuss things with me, of course you lose trust. Oh, the case went away when they realized they would have to testify under oath.
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    When I was 15 living in a small town a police officer jumped out in front of me and threw me of my bike after leaving a park after dark. I ended up spending three days in a children's hospital an missed out on an entire year of hockey (which my life revolved around). The siu investigated but it became my word versus the two police officer that were present. I thought it was a joke then, and it still makes me made thinking about it. The 'crime' we had committed was knocking doors and running away and hiding. The lies that the officers told the siu investigators and the investigators willingness to believe them was troubling. They argued I was running from them (I was running to hide as we had just knocked on a strangers dopr) and I had no idea police were there.

    These events left a permanent mark on me and made me realize there is no one/ very little to hold police accountable and they for the most part know this.

    These stories IMO reflect the tip of the iceberg. There needs to be a shift in mentalityand police need to realize they need to aidentify by the laws they enforce
    .
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    The G20 was the end of the innocence. I no longer trust the Police and our children have been raised not to trust the police. While I'm sure there are still some good, well intentioned officers, there appears to be a systemic issue with department mandates and hiring. So no, I do not trust the police.
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    I generally mistrust any organization that is given power and authority over others. Are there good hardworking police officers? Of course. Are there bad apples? Of course. But, for me, that isn't the real issue; it's whether I should automatically trust someone who is a police officer. To that, I emphatically say no, precisely because a police officer is no better or worse than any other person.
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    Why would you not trust police? Because the RCMP took guns away from people during a crisis? Or the aforementioned cases with the Toronto PD, regardless of what happens I trust that police in general look out for the well being of us as citizens. If you break a law you should be punished, and what these stories tell me is that the officers that have not done their job correctly are being punished. It is all to easy to generalize a large group of people. I choice to trust instead of criticize.
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    No way!! After witnessing a shooting last May and seeing a gun get pulled on another recently. I really think it's high time something is done. I think pulling out a gun could potentially make a person act out even more. Especially if they have a mental illness. Teenagers getting shot that are the biggest risk takers and generally turn out just fine once they mature.
    Are people getting shot because the officer is to afraid of the situation that could be potentially de escalated. Is it a power trip?! Lack of training?! Rhetorical of course! I pray for changes.
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    Personally, I place a very high degree of trust in our local police (RCMP). Unfortunately, there are still staffing shortages at our local detachment. This is a problem common to many detachments, but the problem is amplified in smaller communities. Our Members are getting tired and I have a concern that this may eventually impact the performance ability of the individual Members.
    "D" Division is making every attempt at providing a remedy to our current situation, including the temporary re-assignment of Members from other detachments to cover current staffing shortages. However, while this immediate solution is helpful, this practice has some drawbacks as well. Most notable among these are that temporary Members are not immediately familiar with the Local Clients they can expect to interact with on a regular basis (aka: "The Usual Suspects"). They are also not familiar with calls that are received of an incident occurring "...over at Bob's house... You know, next door to Peggy Sue..."
    Community Policing is about much more than "getting the bad guys". We benefit greatly from having consistency among Members stationed here. They are highly respected and highly valued members of our community.
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    the fact that the rcmp frequently becomes the judge and jury for the mentally ill leaves me with a feeling of distrust. there have been too many incidents in this country involving a 'shoot-first' mentality in dealing with volatile situations that leads to needless deaths. i don't necessarily blame the police for this -- more of a lack of training in dealing with mental illness and a culture of fear that enables someone to use their firearm to immediately deescalate a problem.
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    Second comment. I agree that there are undoubtedly many trustworthy and honest police. However, I don't believe that the 'bad apples' aren't known. How then can I trust the trustworthy when the protect, either through silence or support, the bad ones. The institution as a whole is complicit despite hardworking, trustworthy, honest officers who most likely make up the majority of our police force. Why they would ever allow bad officers to corrupt the police and sully the institution is bizarre.
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    Yes, i do.
    Be a responsible, law abiding citizen, do good things in life. There are things that are against the law, find out what they are. If you think that riding a TTC bus holding a knife and harassing women is ok, you dont know the law.
    Respect the law. Do what you have to. Or move to an island far away and do all the dumb things you want to, alone or with a bunch of other idiots like you that should be living all in the same place. Not with normal people! You dont know what normal people are? Well you should look that up to then. Toronto has alot of brutal people. Sad
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    Yes overall, I believe the police can be trusted. But as in any business, there is a possibility that there are going to be a percentage of people that are dishonest, or that make poor decisions that are unethical or immoral. As long as the situations are dealt with swiftly and there are appropriate consequences, the public can maintain a level of trust in our policemen and women.
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    Nobody can realistically demand trust nor respect...No matter Who You are You have to earn it..Some Police are Bullies and others are Fine People..But because it's a para-military org, top down there's a lot of room for a silent " Code Red " order to be sent...
    The Public has a right to Know in a Democracy..We are close to being a Police State..
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    Final comment. Trust may be to some extent irrelevant. It is unlikely any of us are able to make a fully rational judgment as none of us have all the facts. All police and legal and similar institutions must move to 100% transparency. This will create a system of truth which we can all then assess accurately. Currently, we cannot so the question is really moot.
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    Well it's sure nice to hear that a police chief is holding his employees accountable . In today's society that really unheard of. We always hear how police are acting inappropriately or acting in a unprofessional manner. And never hear of disciple due to the union protecting them . And let's not forget fellow officers. The good officers having to defend the bad cops due to the police brotherhood.
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    Absolutely trust the police.
    Their job is impossibly hard, but they step up.
    I believe they are entitled to more cultural education and access to more resources in order to do their job.
    Headhunting British police officers has added another dimension to policing in Calgary.
    Innovation and change need to be used to support the service.
    I agree that an armed violent mentally ill person is in great danger during confrontation.
    The presentation of a mentally ill violent person versus a completely competent person intent on committing a violent act are so similar as to be indistinguishable. However the police are charged with protecting the public as well.
    Unless the police are to be supplied with cannon loaded with a cargo nets to contain all violent people, the only other way to change this would be 100 percent effective preventative mental health care.
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