Property Disposal Initiative (Synopsis)

Toronto Police Service

Description: The Toronto Police Service has implemented a property disposal initiative to reduce its inventory of items seized in relation to judicial proceedings and investigations. Toronto Police Service developed its own Property Disposition Inquiry (PDI) software, which allows officers to track and update information relating to seized items. Unit commanders and supervisors can use the software to track officer compliance. This system eliminates the need to complete forms for concluded cases and investigations. The result is a fluid and seamless flow of information and the timely disposal or release of property.

This initiative began as a pilot project in a single division in 2009. It was rolled out service-wide in 2010. Over 4,400 officers have received standardized training on the Criminal Code of Canada requirements for Reports to a Justice and the use of the software. Actual physical disposal of items is ongoing.
Objective: The property disposal initiative aims to increase compliance with the Criminal Code of Canada by ensuring that seized items are disposed of or released in accordance with Section 490, and by ensuring that officers obtain a Report to a Justice (Form 5.2) for seized assets. The initiative seeks to improve risk management (decrease the threat of civil litigation) with regard to the inappropriate disposal of seized items. It also seeks to increase the timeliness and promptness by which items are disposed of or released, in order to reduce inventory levels and storage/management costs.
Outcomes: The property disposal initiative has been very successful in increasing efficiency and effectiveness, eliminating the duplication of efforts in processing property dispositions and reducing the backlog of inventory. At the time of launching this initiative, the police service was in possession of over 70,000 items that were not linked to an arrest that required dispositions. That number has now been reduced to less than 4,000. Eliminating the need to process hard-copy disposition forms manually has resulted in the redeployment of one full-time civilian position from the unit to another section of the police service. This initiative has also increased compliance with the Criminal Code of Canada. Feedback received from officers has been overwhelmingly favourable, and this initiative has received the Chief of Police Excellence Award.
Resources: The establishment of the property disposal initiative relied mainly on internal resources, including one information technology programmer and two members of the Property and Evidence Management Unit. Significant financial costs were associated with the physical disposal of the backlog of inventory. Between September 2010 and June 2012, a total of 3,326 civilian hours were dedicated to this initiative on an overtime/callback basis, at a cost of approximately $150,000. Once the backlog is finalized, overtime hours will no longer be required to manage inventory levels.
Province: Ontario
Record Entry Date: 2013-08-01
Date modified: