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politics

Toronto Police Suicides Spark Call for Investigation

Chief Bill Blair has been asked to report to the police board after two recent officer suicides.

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Within the past four months two Toronto police officers have hanged themselves, and the chair of the Toronto Police Services Board wants to know why. Alok Mukherjee last week asked Chief Bill Blair to produce a report on the suicides of Const. Clinton Cibulis and Sgt. Richard Rogers—including a comprehensive examination of police suicides over the past five years—by today.

The suicides, Mukherjee told the Toronto Star in an interview, “disturbed me and raised questions about any further measures that we should or could take to do our best to prevent such tragedies. However, in order to be able to answer these questions, it was necessary to first learn the facts.”

Mukherjee said that he does not intend to make the report public, owing to employee confidentiality regulations and concern for the privacy of families affected by the suicides, but added, “any recommendation I may have for the board’s consideration will be dealt with in public.”

Rogers, a 24-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service who suffered from anxiety and severe depression, took his own life last month. According to family members, he singled out the TPS in a suicide note found on his computer: “I blame the Toronto police for putting me in this state.” Cibulis killed himself in March; although he left a suicide note, his wife has yet to see it because police removed it from the scene.

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