Statement of Commitment
As members of the Toronto Police Service, we have all made a commitment to serve and protect the people of Toronto. It is the motto of our service, but it is much more than that. When we “answer the call to duty”, this is the duty of which we speak. This is the duty that has defined our organization and which has guided our collective and individual efforts for generations of service and of sacrifice.
Police officers have many duties. We are responsible for upholding the law, preserving the peace, preventing crime and assisting victims.
Among our many responsibilities, our highest duty is to preserve the lives of the citizens that we have sworn to serve and protect. It is a commitment made by every member of our Service.
Whenever danger threatens, it is the duty of police officers to move towards that danger, to place ourselves between the threat and the people we protect, to do everything reasonably within our power to protect the vulnerable and to preserve life.
Among the most vulnerable people in our society, are those that are experiencing mental health issues requiring urgent care or because they are otherwise experiencing a mental or emotional crisis involving behaviour that is sufficiently erratic, threatening or dangerous that the police are called in order to protect the person in crisis or those around them.
Responding to situations involving persons in crisis is one of the most challenging responsibilities we have been given and the safe resolution of such events requires our shared commitment to certain values and principles.
To that end, we make the following commitments related to people in crisis, and, more broadly, relating to people experiencing mental health issues:
- Members of the Toronto Police Service are committed to preserving the lives of people in crisis if reasonably possible. Our goal is the safety of every citizen and we aspire to preserve every life;
- In every encounter with a person in crisis, we are committed to taking all reasonable steps to attempt to de-escalate a potentially violent encounter, and to safely resolve such situations;
- Recognizing the increasing complexity of responding to persons in crisis and the role that we have been given in the Mental Health System, we remain committed to continuous self-improvement and innovation, in both policing and in mental health;
- We are committed to the elimination of stereotypes and the stigmatization that victimizes persons experiencing mental health issues through education of both our members and the public;
- We remain committed to involving people with mental health issues directly, where appropriate, in initiatives which affect them, including training and in the development of relevant police procedures;
- We will continue to work collaboratively with our partners in the Mental Health System, including individuals, community organizations, mental health organizations and hospitals;
- We are committed to institutional leadership in matters of policing and mental health, and will strive to become a pre-eminent police service in this field;
- We are committed to fostering and maintaining a positive mental health culture within the Toronto Police Service.