The police say they have met monthly with the Muslim Consultative Committee, a collective of locals who have been corresponding with the police for more than six years on related matters. Once the internal review is completed, the commission will make relevant policy recommendations to the police department, who have said they expect to institute changes this fall.
The launch of the internal review fits into citywide efforts this to promote religious sensitivity and tolerance, including diversity-training seminars for city employees and increased cooperation with faith-based groups. Though the immediately tangible benefits of such action will be difficult to gauge, police hope this particular effort will significantly reduce the number of complaints they’ve received.
While the review will look into complaints by members of all religious communities, it is particularly important for Muslims. Items such as copies of the Qur’an hold a special significance, and any potential desecration that may happen during a search could lead to public outcry.
Perhaps more pressingly to police, such religious insensitivity would likely lead to lawsuits, as was the case with the woman whose hijab was removed. That particular case went all the way to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal before being settled out of court.