Toronto posts new request for private security firm to ‘patrol and monitor’ parks – Toronto

The City of Toronto is once again petitioning for private security companies to patrol its parks and investigate “possible attempted encampments, safety hazards and criminal activity.”

The new posting comes after an attempt in May to find a company to provide security at municipal parks failed.

The city came under fire from some earlier this year when it put out a request for proposals (RFP) to find private security firms to prevent encampments in parks.

That RFP failed to draw qualified bidders, the city said, with two companies given short-term, non-competitive contracts to provide the service.

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Toronto looking at hiring private security at major parks to prevent encampments

During the spring, the city awarded two short-term contracts to patrol parks including Trinity Bellwoods Park, Lamport Stadium Park, Alexandra Park and Dufferin Grove.

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“The current parks security contracts with Logix Security Inc. and Valguard Security Inc. for $500,000 each began on April 13, 2022, and are temporary interim contracts to provide parks security until the contract associated with the RFP can be awarded,” a spokesperson for the City of Toronto said.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, large encampments formed across parks in Toronto as homeless people said they felt the shelters weren’t safe and feared contracting the virus.

Lamport Stadium and Trinity Bellwoods were both sites that saw many structures and tents. The City of Toronto was criticized for the tactics police officers used to clear the encampments.

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Toronto planned encampment clearing operation for months, built profiles of residents

An RFP for security services to patrol city parks closed on May 30, 2022, but none of the bidders met Toronto’s criteria, the city said.

The new RFP, posted on Wednesday, says Toronto is looking to retain a company that will offer security guard services at parks around the city.