TTC looks to transfer security to city police

The TTC is preparing to hand over the security of the transit system tothe Toronto police, according to a report before the councillors on theToronto Transit Commission today.

The TTC is preparing to hand over the security of the transit system to the Toronto police, according to a report before the councillors on the Toronto Transit Commission today.

The plan comes at a time when new statistics show incidents of crime on the TTC increased only slightly last year — 0.4 per cent in 2008, compared with a 1.5 per cent increase in ridership and a four per cent increase in incidents the previous year.

The number of charges related to those incidents grew, however, by 11 per cent in 2008.

The plan to transfer transit security to the city’s police force was recommended by the Toronto Police Services Board last month. It puts Toronto in the ranks of cities such as New York, where transit police carry guns, and Vancouver, where they use Tasers.

TTC special constables carry pepper foam and batons but no firearms or Tasers and a plan to consider arming them was dismissed last year.

It is unclear whether the TTC’s approximately 100 special constables will receive further training to become police officers or whether the police will maintain an unarmed group of officers responsible for fare enforcement and other transit-specific duties, said TTC chief general manager Gary Webster.