The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Police union chief calling it quits

Controversial Toronto Police Association boss Craig Bromell has announced that he'll be leaving his post when his term expires in October 2003.

Au revoir.

During his tenure, Bromell was known for vicious attacks on the police board and senior command. His charges of gross incompetence and mismanagement were levelled in such a fierce manner that those he criticized were barely able to respond. He was intensely political; city councilllors not seen as being sufficiently "pro-police" could expect to see an ad encouraging citizens to complain by calling the councillors at their home numbers. Lobbying offficials over far more than just wages and working conditions became standard fare, too.

Bromell's conduct as a police officer was also suspect.

(from the Toronto Star)

On the morning of Jan. 26, 1995, it was Bromell who told police brass that 51 Division's 50 officers wouldn't hit the streets that day. The one-day work stoppage protested the reopening of a probe into the police takedown of City-tv reporter Dwight Drummond.

Two officers had arrested Drummond and a friend at gunpoint while seeking shooting suspects described as being black and driving a blue car.
The men were released after their identification was checked, but later launched a police complaint. No charges were laid under the Police Services Act, but the case was being reopened and Bromell was enraged.

But that's not all:

A year later, Bromell would again be in the spotlight, this time as part of a group dubbed the 51/9. It was alleged that Bromell and eight other 51 Division officers took a petty criminal, Thomas Kerr, to a parking lot near Cherry Beach and beat him in retaliation for resisting arrest weeks before.

A civil suit by Kerr is pending.

A fund-raising campaign in 2000 known as "True Blue" was also controversial. Ostensibly, the aim of the fund-raising was to assist the union's advocacy and lobbying work, among other things. However, it was charged that the money was being used to fund investigations into Bromell's opponents' lives. There was also the question of whether a motorist with a "True Blue" decal in the windshield might be subject to preferential treatment.

Bromell even took on the then-newly appointed police chief after internal investigations by the new police brass resulted in dozens of charges against drug squad cops.

However, Bromell's attempt to knock off the new sheriff failed, and from then on, Bromell's position has continued to weaken. He was successful in negotiating a generous new contract for the city's police, but he has not been able to attack the police board and brass with the same impunity that he could in the late 1990s.
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