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Chief Blair defends Ford's account of 911 calls

Mayor Rob Ford speaks to reporters on March 2, 2011. CITYNEWS

Toronto police chief Bill Blair says he’s heard the 911 calls Mayor Rob Ford made after being confronted by a CBC crew at his home, and he stands by Ford’s account of what transpired.

“The content of those conversations has been misrepresented by what are claimed to be ‘several anonymous sources,’ presumably from within the TPS, in which case I have to set the record straight,” Blair said in a statement Friday.

“I have listened to the three emergency calls. The mayor did not use the word ‘bitches,’ attributed to him by those ‘several anonymous sources.’ The mayor did not describe himself as the original account claimed.”

In a brief email to CityNews on Friday evening, CBC spokesman Chris Bell said the station had “multiple, credible, well-placed sources within TPS, including a dispatcher, we are reporting what was told to us.

“This is a developing story and we’re continuing to report on it as it unfolds.”

Earlier Friday Toronto police said they wouldn’t be investigating the controversial 911 calls made by Ford earlier this week.  

Ford called for help after two-person crew from the CBC show This Hour Has 22 Minutes approached him in the driveway of his Etobicoke home on Monday. Ford went inside and called 911. When police didn’t arrive after several minutes, he called a second time.

Ford later admitted he used the “f-word” in a conversation with the dispatcher, but denied he said “you…bitches” to the operator.

“We’ve reviewed our response to the call and I’m satisfied with our response to that call,” Blair told reporters Friday.

“I know there are other issues but quite frankly they don’t involve the police… There have been no formal complaints,” he added.

A reporter asked Blair if he felt Ford was justified in calling 911 on the television crew.

“I’m not going to comment on that. I want every citizen of Toronto, if they feel that their safety is threatened or they need the services of the police, I want people to feel comfortable and call 911,” Blair said.

Ford could ask to have the 911 tapes released, which would confirm that he did not swear at an operator. The CBC issued a statement Thursday saying they had spoken to their sources again, and stand by their initial allegation that Ford repeatedly swore during the call.

In his statement Friday, Blair again stressed that citizens shouldn’t hesitate to call 911 if they feel threatened.

“I’m concerned that this may have created confusion with the public about whether to call 911 or not. I cannot allow that to happen. Public safety is too important. Let me be clear. Anyone who has concerns for their safety, or the safety of their family, should call 911 without hesitation.”