April 1, 2015

Toronto Transit Commission CEO Andy Byford has requested, through Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, that the Toronto Police Service review an incident that occurred between Transit Enforcement Officers (TEOs) and members of the public on the evening of Jan. 29 at Union Station. Chief Blair has agreed to the request and has asked his Professional Standards Unit to lead the investigation.

On Jan. 29, two men became involved in a fight with a TEO on the concourse level at Union Station following a Toronto Maple Leafs game at Air Canada Centre. The incident did not involve a fare dispute, though the provocation remains unknown. A second TEO attended to assist. Police were also called. The two men were subsequently charged by police with assaulting the TEOs.

Under an agreement between the TTC and Toronto Police Services Board, complaints regarding the conduct of TTC Special Constables can be reviewed by the Professional Standards Unit. Nevertheless, given the seriousness of this matter, the TTC has requested the police to independently review the incident. Complaints about the conduct of TEOs are typically handled by a separate unit within the TTC’s human resources department. No public complaints have been filed about this incident. The TTC is grateful to Toronto police for their assistance in this matter.

The entire incident, from the moment the TEO and two men became involved in an altercation, will be considered and reviewed by police. The TTC wants to ensure any use-of-force by its officers is justified and that approved procedures are always followed. In addition to the videos posted on social media, the TTC will provide police with its own CCTV footage that captured the entire incident.

Public safety is the TTC’s first priority; public trust in those charged with maintaining that safety must follow. TEOs are trained to a police standard in all that they do, including communications, de-escalation and use-of-force, as necessary. It is for this reason that the TTC is seeking the assistance of police in independently reviewing the matter, and looks forward to the conclusion of their investigation.

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