Cops best suited for paid-duty work, says union leader

Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack reacts to city councillors suggesting paid-duty policing is often a waste of money.


Toronto police officers doing paid-duty on construction sites and the like took in more than $26 million last year.

On their own time, professionally trained police officers, subject to accountability and oversight, are best suited to perform paid-duty assignments on construction and road work sites, says Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association.

“I’d rather have a police officer out on the street directing traffic then some guy who is picked up by some security company at $12 an hour and say, ‘Go out here and direct traffic and see what happens,’” McCormack said Tuesday.

The union boss was reacting to criticism from several city councillors who are questioning why already well-paid police officers are cashing in on lucrative moonlighting assignments when the city took steps, in 2011, to curtail the need for paid-duty policing.

Three years later, demand for off-duty officers has soared, with 3,047 raking in $26.1 million in 2013.


While city divisions, such as Toronto Water and Transportation Services, have reduced paid-duty expenditures to $2.1 million last year — making up just 9 per cent of the total spending — private organizations, construction companies, utilities and special event organizers have picked up the slack.

“At no direct cost to taxpayers,” McCormack says, adding the Toronto Police Service is not alone in having officers-for-hire.

“Practically every major municipality in North America has officers engaged in paid duties,” he said. While other places might not have Toronto’s volume of paid-duty work, “these other jurisdictions aren’t booming and having the construction, and a lot of them don’t have major sporting teams.”

McCormack says a key reason paid duty exists is to address the requirements of provincial legislation for certain traffic control situations, particularly around road construction.

“The Highway Traffic Act stipulates that only police officers are allowed to direct traffic,” he says.

A security guard or an auxiliary officer can “man barricades,” but when a road is closed, and someone is needed to “actually direct traffic, you have to be trained and a professional police officer to do that.”

McCormack acknowledges some members of the public are “frustrated” when they see officers standing around construction sites earning $68 an hour — a pay hike kicked in this year — for a minimum three-hour shift.

“I get that,” he says. “They’re stuck in traffic and the police officer isn’t actively engaged in that … ensuring traffic flows because that’s what people want.”

McCormack played down a suggestion that the union would fight any attempt to get rid of paid duty.

“I’d have to look the framework and the context of reducing it and what was the objective.”

The suggestion was made in a 2011 Toronto police feasibility study, rejecting the idea that the Vancouver Traffic Authority Program could be implemented in Toronto.

Non-union special constables perform traffic control in Vancouver. In 2011, they were paid an hourly wage of between $28 and $36 an hour, the study says.

The feasibility study also warned about the negative effect on officers if there was any attempt made to eliminate the millions earned in paid duty salary.

“This could quickly escalate into a major morale concern for the (Toronto Police Services) Board and the community,” the study said.


Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

Ontario has next to no Accountability and or Oversight that effectively creates a Fascist State where the Corrupt State Institutions of Police and Children's Aid Societies effectively Rule like Dictators absent the Rule of law.

Ontario spends Billions of Dollars on Fascist theories of "Gender Superiority" where in Ottawa, the Ottawa Police Claim 90% of domestic violence victims are all female.

Ontario openly promotes violence against fathers by women and thru the CAS provides Billions of Dollars of limitless CASH to fund litigation for woman against men.

Dam near every CAS Gestapo Headquarters has full of Jail Like Visiting Rooms that are generally excuses to abuse children and parents who are Male Victims of Domestic Violence.

The CAS treats the female perpetrators of violence against children and fathers as victims...

Paid Duty is just another means that those with Absolute Power abuse that power absolutely and in this case, take wages away from low paid security guards and forces the tax payer to pay 10 x much to COPS who already earn fat incomes for acting as instruments of terror for Criminal Organizations funded by the Ontario Government.

Ontario Police Forces are infested with Rotten Evidence Fabricating Cops like Detective Peter Van Der Zander of Ottawa who personally fabricates evidence to NOT charge the most violent female perpetrators of unprovoked violence towards children and partners.

Ottawa Mens Centre