Loading articles...

Toronto courts manned by unarmed workers

Some people are questioning the policy to appoint unarmed special constables at Toronto courthouses in light of Friday’s shooting at the A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse in Brampton, Ont.

Two armed Peel police officers were working security at the courthouse Friday morning when shots rang out.

One man was killed and Const. Mike Klarenbeek was sent to hospital where he remained in stable condition Friday night.

“[The shooter] could have been in there shooting for awhile if there was no one there to take him down,” crime specialist Ross McLean told CityNews’ Amanda Ferguson.

Armed police officers are often patrolling Toronto courthouses, but the special constable force is not armed as they are civilian employees rather than fully-fledged police officers.

The Toronto Police Service began hiring civilians to work court services in the early 1980s, likely as a cost-cutting decision.

“There’s always a cost or budget element to that, when making those type of decisions,” Toronto police union president Mike McCormack told CityNews.

“The government and the powers that be feeling that job function could be done by a special constable and not a police officer.”

Do you think court service officers should be armed? Tell us in the comments.