July 8, 2014 1:15 pm
Updated: July 8, 2014 2:58 pm

Should Rob Ford have police protection?


ABOVE VIDEO: Rob Ford’s Chief of Staff Dan Jacobs got into an extremely heated confrontation with one of the shirtless protesters.

TORONTO – A press conference Tuesday at which demonstrators were able to stand only inches from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has raised the question: Should Ford have police protection?

Several protesters surrounded Ford as he spoke to reporters.

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The mayor’s chief of staff Dan Jacobs attempted to block one protester during the mayor’s speech, resulting in a heated confrontation. Jacobs eventually called police.

Ford appeared to be unruffled by the protesters.

Of the five largest cities in North America, Ford is the only mayor without a police security detail.

His occasional driver/bodyguard is Jerry Agyemang, a former city hall security guard.

To provide security services in Ontario, an individual must be licensed with the Private Security & Investigative Services branch of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

A person need only complete a minimum of 40 hours of basic training, pass a written test administered by the Ministry and pay a fee of less than $100 to obtain a license.

According to provincial regulations, a licensed security guard has no special authority to restrain or detain a person and has the same power of arrest as any other citizen. Further, security guards are not permitted to carry weapons of any kind unless specially licensed.

The mayor of North America’s largest city, Mexico City’s Miguel Espinosa, is heavily guarded at all times by a slew of armed guards.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is reportedly protected by three teams of up to six plainclothes NYPD officers, including one who secures locations in advance of the mayor’s arrival, who each work eight-hour shifts.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has round-the-clock protection from a security detail made up of LAPD officers.

The mayors of Los Angeles and New York City are also permitted to live in publicly-owned homes that come with around-the-clock security. (Former L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was criticized in 2011 for asking for a six-foot security wall around the official residence, Getty House.)

Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, has a full-time security team of at least a dozen Chicago PD officers who work in rotation. According to reports, Emanuel’s security detail was assembled by Chicago PD in consultation with the U.S. Secret Service.

Ford has experienced close calls in the past.

Toronto police charged a woman who allegedly threw a drink at the mayor at an event last June. The charges were later dismissed.

More recently, Joe Killoran, dubbed the shirtless jogger, also got close to the mayor during a Canada Day parade.

Last summer, the mayor’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, suggested his brother use Toronto Police officers at public events.

The mayor, who is a subject in the Project Brazen 2 police investigation, has reportedly never requested police protection.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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