TTC Transit Enforcement Unit
|TTC Transit Enforcement Unit|
|Logo of the TTC Transit Enforcement Unit.|
|Formed||June 1, 1997 (as Special Constables)
February 1, 2011 (as Transit Enforcement Unit)
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
The TTC Transit Enforcement Officers are the safety and security division of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada since 2011. They were known as the TTC Special Constable Services from June 1, 1997 until February 1, 2011. The service is responsible for safety and security and are authorized as "Special Constables" by the Toronto Police Services Board with limited geographical jurisdiction and specified enforcement powers, as of January 1, 2014.
The former Special Constables are now referred to as "Transit Enforcement Officers" and are working in uniforms and plain clothes. The new Transit Enforcement uniforms are identical to the Special Constable uniforms except they say "Transit Enforcement Unit" instead of "Special Constable Service".
The officers have been authorized to enforce the following, pursuant to an agreement with the Toronto Police Services Board:
- Criminal Code of Canada
- Trespass to Property Act of Ontario
- Liquor Licence Act
- Section 17 of the Mental Health Act of Ontario
- TTC By-Law 1
The Constables patrolled within Toronto and areas beyond Toronto served by the TTC. Before the creation of the TTC Special Constables, security on the Toronto Transit Commission was limited to random patrols by Toronto Police officers, but the Commission had added security guards to provide in-house security relating to property offenses.
- Staff Sergeant
- Deputy Chief
Constables had three designations:
- Subway Patrol
- Mobile Patrol
- Criminal Investigations.
The Mobile Patrol Division members were the visible presence on TTC vehicles while the Subway Patrol division members were the visible presence in the subway system. They wore uniforms distinct from the standard TTC or Toronto Police uniforms; consisting of a black jacket and powder blue shirt with a special constables crest on both shoulders and black cargo pants. They were armed with batons and OC Foam (pepper spray - in a less aerosol form to avoid contamination in confined places), body armour and carried portable radios.
Some officers patrolled the subway system on foot, while others drove in marked and/or unmarked vehicles responding to calls on both surface routes and in the subway.
Cancellation of the Special Constable program
On 18 June 2009 the Toronto Police Services board voted unanimously to take control of the TTC Special Constables. Negotiations between the Toronto Police Service and the TTC on how to proceed took place for over a year before the Police Services Board decided to wind down the organization.
One of the main objections that led to this decision was the fact that constables are not armed, and anytime there is a situation with a firearm involved they are not equipped to respond and must wait for police. There were also concerns regarding the constables overstepping their jurisdiction when it came to criminal investigations, and a lack of civilian oversight.
In a newspaper interview Alok Mukherjee the Chair of the Police Services Board, was quoted as saying "We were creating more than one public police (force) paid by the public taxpayer, without the oversight, without the accountability, without the monitoring," going on to say "The core business of the TTC is to run the transit system and the core business of the Toronto Police Service is to provide policing. So I think it was a rational decision,"
On October 21, 2010 the Toronto Police Services Board voted in favour of the cancellation of the Special Constable program effective February 1, 2011. At the same time the Board approved the expansion of the Toronto Police Transit Patrol Unit. It is expected that the existing Special Constables will become bylaw enforcement officers, tasked primarily with fare evasion and by-law offenses.
Andy Byford, the CEO of the TTC, requested to the Toronto Police Services Board in October 2013 to restore the Special Constable program in an effort to implement an independent complaints process and public awareness campaign.
According to the 2008 Annual Report to the Transit Commission, the Special Constables were involved in 1215 arrests, and laid approximately 450 charges during the calendar year ending December 31, 2008. During that period over 6000 occurrence reports were filed regarding incidents that did not involve arrests or charges.
Counterfeiting operations, 2006
The TTC Special Constables, working with the Peel Regional Police, broke up a Metropass counterfeiting shop in December 2006. Peel Police and TTC Special Constables executed a search warrant on December 20, 2006, in Peel Region. The investigation into the scope of the alleged crimes is ongoing.
In May 2006, high-quality forged Adult and Senior/Student Metropasses began circulating throughout the city. The forgeries could not be successfully swiped at turnstiles but they were almost indistinguishable from authentic Metropasses on visual verification. More than 120 people were charged with selling and using the forged Metropasses. The public was warned to only buy Metropasses from authorized sources but still the forged passes continued to circulate.
After the warning, TTC Special Constables continued to investigate, concentrating their efforts on dismantling the distribution network and tracking down the production facility. On December 20, 2006, the TTC obtained a search warrant for a residence in Mississauga. Peel Regional Police assisted with the execution of the search warrant, uncovering a significant credit card forgery lab that was also producing TTC Metropasses, Ontario Driver's Licences and Social Insurance Cards. One man was arrested at that time and has been charged with eight criminal offences so far.
- Ford Police Interceptor - Previously marked, however all have been converted to unmarked operation.
- Various unmarked vehicles for undercover and surveillance operations
- TTC Proposal on Special Constable
- TTC police regain arrest powers
- TPSB Meeting Minutes - December 12, 2013
- TTC Special Constable Services 2008 Annual Report (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. p. 17. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
- Lakey, Jack (2008-03-08). "Police to control TTC constables". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- Kalinowski, Tess (October 21, 2010). "TTC constables overstepped authority, police board alleges". The Star (Toronto).
- The Star (Toronto) http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/10/07/ttc_argues_for_return_of_special_constables.html
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- TTC Special Constable Services 2008 Annual Report (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. pp. 18–19. Retrieved 2009-09-14.