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An Investigation into Toronto City Hall Security

The Issue

Starting in the spring of 2013, media and public attention focused on the former Mayor of Toronto created unprecedented demands on security at Toronto City Hall. Around this time, we began receiving complainants about the actions of the City Hall security staff, which gave rise to concerns about people’s personal safety.

Our Investigation

The focus of the investigation was whether the City’s Corporate Security Division (Security) staff responded to various incidents in keeping with its policies and procedures. The investigation also examined how the Security division investigates complaints it receives.

The main issues addressed in the investigation were:

  • Security’s handling of incidents.
  • The adequacy of Security’s response to complaints.

What We Found

The investigation found that City Hall Security failed to fulfil its mandate to provide equitable protection to all individuals.

  • Security was slow to respond and its approach to dealing with the incidents identified in this report was reactive and fell short of expectations.
  • It did not respond in a consistent manner to the changed environment.
  • Managers delayed in proactively adopting new measures and training for staff to deal with the new reality.
  • Complaints received were not investigated thoroughly enough.

Our Impact

The Ombudsman recommended that Security consistently adhere to its policies and procedures; ensure that its personnel are not subject to the direction of elected officials, and regularly review the skills and resources needed by Security.