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Bill Blair Wants You to Know How to Call 9-1-1

Presented without commentary, a statement from Police Chief William Blair at 4:53 p.m. today:

While it is not my practice to comment on 9-1-1 calls made to TPS emergency operators, serious allegations have been made about what was said during a series of three calls involving the mayor, and whether there was any abuse of the 9-1-1 service.

I’m concerned that this may have created confusion with the public about whether to call 9-1-1 or not. I cannot allow that to happen. Public safety is too important. Let me be clear. Anyone who has concerns for their safety, or the safety of their family, should call 9-1-1 without hesitation.

I also feel it is necessary to set the record straight about the conversations. There have been no complaints by any members of the TPS about the 9-1-1 conversations.

The content of those conversations has been misrepresented by what are claimed to be “several anonymous sources,” presumably from within the TPS, in which case I have to set the record straight. I have listened to the three emergency calls. The mayor did not use the word “bitches,” attributed to him by those “several anonymous sources.” The mayor did not describe himself as the original account claimed.

Emergency calls involve people who are under stress, trying to communicate with emergency operators. Those operators work under great pressure, trying to get vital information from people, who are extremely anxious, so the proper police resources can be deployed. Our emergency operators are extremely well trained, equipped to deal with the most difficult situations. What is most important, above all else, is that public safety is protected.

William Blair
Chief of Police


  • Georgeorr999

    Gosh… it’s ok for The Chief to hear the tape…. but not you. Because he can be trusted. you can’t, Why? ‘Cause he’s the Chief. So there….

    • Anonymous

      So, we’ll ignore privacy laws then?

  • LisaB

    Anyone who has called 9-1-1 lately with concerns for their safety, or the safety of their family, will know very well that the emergency operator will tell you to hang up and call your local police station. The emergency operator will help you with ambulance or fire but is not willing to call the police for you, regardless of whether you think it’s an emergency. Chief William Blair is an example of a manager who does actually know how his department works.

    • PapaTee

      Didn’t Chief Blair’s budget just get handed a ton of extra gravy this week with Ford’s assistance?

    • Spanks

      Not true. I had to call 911 last week due to a theft-in-progress at my store and the operator quickly dispatched the police to my location.

  • Anonymous

    What you describe is not at all the way it works in Toronto. 911 connects you with Police, Fire, or Ambulance. After you are connected to the appropriate agency, you are asked for your address, and the issue.

    • LisaB

      Good to know. That hasn’t been my experience but I will bear that in mind in future.

  • Steve Craig

    You’ll have to excuse me if I choose not to believe anything Bill Blair says for the rest of his career…so this proves nothing as far as I am concerned. So far Rob Ford has lied about everything to do with this incident so if he wants to present corroborating evidence at this point he’s going to have to do a hell of a lot better than the “word” of a man who has already proven he will lie through his teeth to protect his own interests, whatever those interests may be. Hizzoner can ask for the tapes to be made public, yet he won’t do that. Why do you suppose that is?

    Perhaps he used the word “bitch” in singular form so, technically, Blair isn’t lying per se.

    • Anonymous

      I totally agree, both Ford and Blair have been proven to have lied to the citizens of Toronto numerous times in the past, well Ford more often than Blair, but they both have a serious problem with truth telling when it comes to covering either of their asses. I have no doubt that Ford called up Blair and insisted he make such an announcement, possibly threatening him with forcing the police to actually make the 10% cut in its budget instead of the small increase they got for next year, or Ford threatened to fire Blair as police chief like he did when Blair was resisting him on the police budget. Either way both are proven liars and have substantial personal reasons to lie to the citizens of Toronto yet again, the multiple sources the CBC used in reporting this story had absolutely no reason to lie.

      Why else would the 911 call have been circulating through the police dept if there was nothing on it “unusual” like Ford and Blair claim?

  • Travellinmatt

    Don’t call 9-1-1 unecessarily! Use the helpful visual aids on this site:

    • Anonymous

      Loved the link! Thanks

  • qviri

    While Chief Blair is in a statement-making mood, perhaps he can make one regarding TPS cruiser 766 and its adventures on June 26, 2010?

  • Anonymous

    This only underlines the fact that Rob Ford felt threatened by a 60 year old comedian armed with a microphone, cameraman and CBC van. Hand in your Man Card, Rob.

    • Anonymous

      I tend to think that Ford mainly felt threatened by the thought of the amount of damage he’d do to his career if he spoke to any sort of media without someone else writing a script for him telling him exactly what to say. I wonder if he called his handlers before or after the police.

  • Mishie

    Who are the 911 operators anyway? Are they city, provincial, federal employees. Who pays them… is it from money collected from our phone bills or is part of the police budget?