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EXCLUSIVE: Toronto police chief records video message addressing morale

Last Updated Sep 15, 2017 at 6:39 pm EST

Toronto’s top cop is reaching out to the rank and file as officers continue a work-to-rule campaign by wearing union ball caps while on the job.

This is Phase 2 of a quiet protest against the force’s modernization plan, which includes a significant overhaul of how officers do their jobs.

The plan’s goal is to make the Toronto Police Service more efficient and trim back a portion of the force’s billion-dollar budget. The visionary document calls for the closing of some police divisions and keeping cops out of stations and in communities, using more high-tech equipment.

Toronto Police Association (TPA) president, Mike McCormack, claims the board has reneged on a promise to hire 80 new officers, putting front-line cops, and the public, at risk due to insufficient staffing levels.

CityNews has obtained an exclusive copy of a video filmed by Chief Mark Saunders, aimed at addressing many of the issues flagged by the union.

Watch the full video below.

Phase 1 of the work-to-rule campaign saw the union urging its members not to rush from call to call by following by-the-book union break rules and by not using their personal cellphones to speed up their jobs.

The union was warning response times would be longer.

Toronto police told CityNews response times have not changed since the job action began. The average response for a Priority 1 call remains at 14.8 minutes — the same as it was a year ago.