Race-Based Data



Race-Based Data header image


Message from the Chief

The Toronto Police Service is very pleased that the Toronto Police Services Board has passed its Race-Based Data Collection, Analysis and Public Reporting Policy.

We are committed to the promotion of equity, fairness and non-discriminatory policing in Toronto. In fact, we began working on our strategy to guide the organization in suppoting the “Anti-Racism Act” over one year ago.

This work continues and we will be engaging the community, and our officers with the objective of launching our new Race-Based Data Collection Strategy in January of 2020.

The purpose of the new policy, and our strategy, is to identify, to monitor, and to eliminate potential systemic racism.

Collecting the data will allow us to analyze, and report on it.

It will allow the Service to be informed, to recognize trends, and to develop training and procedures to best equip our officers to do their jobs safely. With that, it will support our Members in delivering intelligence-led, bias-free policing.

It will also eliminate speculation about our interactions with the community – and allow both the public and the Service to learn from our experiences.

And while we will meet all of the requirements of the Board’s new policy - including the collection and analysis of data, transparent reporting on findings, and the development of action plans – I’m pleased to advise that we will be going one step further.

When we implement the Strategy, we will be adding “Level 3 searches”, also known as strip searches, in order to address what we heard from the “Golden Rule Report” from the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.

Our Strategy will be led by our Equity, Inclusion and Human Rights Unit which we have developed over the last year and have carefully staffed with considerable subject-matter-expertise.

With over 4,000 police agencies collecting race-based data worldwide, we will also learn from their Best Practices to inform the implementation of our own Strategy.

This is a pivotal point in the history of the Toronto Police Service.

Our work today to incorporate an anti-racism approach to our policies and procedures, will have far-reaching and progressive impacts for generations to come.

Our modernization plan, The Way Forward, calls for us to meet the needs of a complex city, embrace partnerships and be where the public needs us.

And, our core values direct us to do the right thing, and connect with compassion. I am confident our new Strategy meets all of these principles.

We continue to develop as modern police service that is consistent, transparent, inclusive and community-focused.

Chief Mark Saunders



News & Announcements

To learn more about Ontario’s Anti-Racism Act, 2017, and the Anti-Racism Data Standards, visit the Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate.

To learn more about The Way Forward, visit our website.



Community Consultations

Deputy Chief Peter Yuen has been meeting with the Service’s Community Consultative Committees and will be hosting Town Hall Meetings in November 2020.

Slide Presentation made by Deputy Chief Peter Yuen, from the Community Consultation Session held on December 9, 2019.

Community Consultation Session - December 4, 2019, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. - Scadding Court Community Centre.

Community Consultation Session - December 9, 2019, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. - The Royal Canadian Legion, 1050 Weston Rd.

Community Consultation Session - December 17, 2019, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. - Chinese Cultural Centre - 5183 Sheppard Ave. E.

Community Consultation Session - December 19, 2019, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. - Regent Park Community Centre.

Focus Group sessions for community organizations are also available. Please view our poster for more information.
If your group is interested in hosting a session, please contact Rose-Ann Bailey.

Send us an email with your question or comment.

You can also follow us on Twitter @ValueDiversity.



Photo Album


  • Community members meeting with Deputy Chief Peter Yuen
  • Community members meeting with Deputy Chief Peter Yuen
  • Community members meeting with Deputy Chief Peter Yuen
  • Community members meeting with Deputy Chief Peter Yuen
  • Community members meeting with Deputy Chief Peter Yuen
  • Community members meeting with Deputy Chief Peter Yuen
  • Community members meeting with Deputy Chief Peter Yuen

Frequently Asked Questions


How does the Service define racism? Systemic racism? Officer’s perception? Self-Identification?

Racism means the ideas, beliefs, or practices that maintain or perpetuate the superiority or dominance of one racial group over another. Racism is different from prejudice in that it is tied to the social, political, economic, and institutional power that is held by the dominant group in society.

Systemic Racism occurs when institutions or systems create or maintain inequity often as a result of hidden institutional biases in policies, practices and procedures that privilege some groups and disadvantage others. It can take many forms including singling out members of Indigenous, Black and other racialized groups for greater scrutiny or different treatment.

Officer’s Perception means the individual officer’s perception about another individual’s race, based on observations.

Self-Identification means the information that is derived from an individual providing their race in response to being asked this information by a Service member, unless it is impractical to do so.


How is the Service educating/informing the public of this change?

The TPS has engaged in its own public information campaign. Since October, consultation sessions have been held with each Community Consultative Committee and a group of CPLC representatives. Focus groups have been held with more than 20 community organizations and four public Town Hall Meetings are scheduled to take place before the end of year. A webpage – www.tps.on.ca/race-based-data has also been created.


What training will be given to Service members?

The Service’s Equity, Inclusion and Human Rights Team has a group of Subject Matter Experts who have been hired to facilitate the implementation of this initiative, including the development of our training curriculum. This training will consist of online and classroom components that will not only provide technical support but will complement the Service’s past efforts to provide our members with fair and impartial policing.


What is the TPS going to do with this data?

The data collected will be anonymized and eventually available on the Service’s Open Data Portal, available to the media and public. The portal contains current and historical calls for service and occurrence data, arrest data, and other key public safety data sets. Through this portal and open data initiative, the Service is committing to greater openness and transparency.


Will the data collection information be available to the public?

Yes, in addition to regular public reporting, the data will be made available to the public through the Service’s Open Data Portal by 2021.


Will the data be disclosed during a court process?

Like any document created by the TPS, defense counsel could seek the records disclosed as part of a trial and, if the judge determined it was relevant to the case, the records would be released.


How will the data allow the TPS to make positive changes within the Service?

We cannot change what we do not measure. The data will be used to identify and to monitor, potential systemic racism within the Toronto Police Service. Through our analysis, we will be able to put action plans in place to address any gaps.


How will the TPS ensure that the reporting is accurate?

An independent third-party assessor will be engaged to validate the process. Can individuals ask to be self-identified during this first phase? The first phase of the program is meant to measure perceptions and our own interactions.


Will TPS be stripping the data of identifiers before it’s published?

Yes, the data we collect will be anonymized and stripped of identifiers. It will be impossible for the data to be connected to a specific individual.


How is this different from carding?

Street checks are an investigative tool while race-based date collection is used to measure systemic trends.


How can we trust officers to accurately record the data?

The Service’s Equity, Inclusion and Human Rights Team has a group of Subject Matter Experts who have been hired to facilitate the implementation of this initiative, including the development of our training curriculum. This training will consist of online and classroom components that will not only provide technical support but will complement the Service’s past efforts to provide our members with fair and impartial policing.

A third-party, independent Community Advisory will evaluate compliance with the policy on the part of TPS, comment on training needs and opportunities and identify possible key performance indicators.


Will the data identify racists within the force?

The data will identify trends through aggregate data, and it will be impossible to identify specific individuals. The initiative is not an enforcement or punitive tool.


Does TPS have a problem with racism?

The Toronto Police Service is not immune to bias and racism, and we have been working diligently over the past several years to make positive changes to address both overt and implicit bias within the Service.

We have processes and governance in place to identify individuals, and the Race Based Data initiative will help the service identify trends on an institutional and organizational level.


Why were LGBTQ community groups included in the consultation?

They are an important members of our community and we go first to the people who come to us and help us identify priorities. Members of communities have multiple identities and it is important to understand how those identities intersect with how we are delivering our services.


How much is this initiative going to cost?

It is included in the budget, but we are also seeking support from the province through funding applications. This initiative is an investment for the future of the Service.