Toronto Police to Consider Closing 54 Division in Budget Crunch
Head brass with Toronto Police are faced with a tough decision.
They need to weigh the pro's and con's of spending a reported $35-million on repairs at the 54 Division headquarters near St. Clair Avenue and O'Connor Drive.
The building is showing its age and police chief Bill Blair says the best move might be to shut it down for good.
He says closing it is just one option on the table and adds that Toronto Police will not make a final decision until they research how closing the building might affect the community.
54 Division serves the area bordered by the Don River to Victoria Park, and Eglinton down to Danforth.
Chief Blair is also warning that he'll have to cut staff significantly if the city forces him to flatline his budget.
The direction that has gone out from city budget chief, Mike Del Grande is budget requests must contain zero increases.
But the Chief says the police service has cut senior management by 10% and premium pay by 15%, and slashed spending on training, business meetings, conferences and seminars to achieve the city's targets.
The Chief has also written a letter to city manager Joseph Pennachetti advising that officers would only perform paid duty for the city and its agencies, boards and commissions when public safety is at issue, but a request outlining the safety risk from the city manager’s office would have to be submitted for approval.
The Toronto Police Services Board will meet on Monday to discuss the budget issues.
The decision on whether to close 54 division will be made by the end of the year.