Located along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore, Toronto is the capital city of Ontario. Toronto is a commercial hub for the sprawling suburbs surrounding the lake. The City Police has implemented new approaches to community safety. Communities and governmental agencies alike are involved. One of the highest priorities of the Toronto Police Service is reducing gun violence and gang violence to support community safety.
A CPLC report has been published covering the major steps taken by the Toronto Police. Moving further with the SafetyTO project, police has updated their gun and gang strategy framework. Keeping in view the community safety they have put efforts in reducing gun-related violence around the city. Also, this is not merely the responsibility of the Police, in fact, it is possible with the efforts of the public as well.
D/Cst Jeffrey (Jeff) Northrup and Inspector David Ecklund
To pay tribute to D/Cst Jeffrey, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a call overnight, PC Norman Leung accepted a piece of beadwork k honoring fallen officer D/Cst Jeffrey. The piece will be donated to 52 Division where Detective Constable Northrup served.
According to the 55 division CPLC report, David Ecklund is another hero who has set a model for others. He started serving Police at an early age and continues to volunteer in various other communities. His significant service involves his passion for the blood donation community service. He just completed his 25 years of exemplary services in the Toronto police and has been awarded a medal.
As we approach the winter season, I’d like to remind the public that our daylight hours are getting shorter, and visibility is reduced. Please take extra care when driving, particularly around school zones. Fatalities and serious injuries on our roads are preventable, and we must strive to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries to ZERO. – Inspector David Ecklund, 55 Division
Valerie Mah Scholarship Fund
55 Division awards several scholarships to the students who volunteer in the community. This year too, they have awarded 10 scholarships worth $500 each to the deserving students who had achieved academically and socially.
This scholarship is another direct service by the Community Police Liaison Committee. They support youth in achieving more in the future.
As was included in the SafetyTO approach, O’Connor Neighborhood is one of four communities in which NCO is active and finds ways to help smoothen the communication between the community and the police. Its mission is to Work in partnership with residents, community groups, and community-based organizations to address crime, disorder, and community safety issues specific to each neighborhood.
O’Connor community is located along the east area of 55 Division and borders 41 Division. This neighborhood is large and includes the neighborhoods of Parma Court/Wakunda Place, Dawes Road, and 444 Lumsden Avenue. It is the hub of recreational activity in the community.
Neighbourhoods’ officers s attend numerous community events, meetings, sports programs/activities, and engage in various other activities. Each area requires work both from the officers as well as the community to reach its mission.
The NCO’s existing relationships with community members coupled with their knowledge of the area led to a quick resolution and an outcome that was as positive as could be given the circumstances. Their follow-up with the victim was an example of Toronto Police core values: “Service at our Core” and “Connect with compassion”. The competence and professionalism these officers showed while responding to a high-risk call should be appreciated.
Olympic swimmer Penny the Beaches community was grateful to have Penny support The Daily Bread Food Bank in a food drive that was held on October 14th at Kew Gardens Plaza. Overall, more than 1,200 pounds of food was collected for the food bank, an accomplishment that was made possible with the generous help of Oleksiak.
COVID has hit a lot of people hard over the past two years and it’s important to help each other whenever we can. – Penny Oleksiak
Cram-A-Cruiser is another food drive to fill a police car full of donations of non-perishable food items. The drive was a big success, and enough supplies were donated and collected to give Interval House several months’ worth of food and supplies.
Community response unit
The Community Response Unit (CRU) is comprised of officers who work regularly alongside their community partners. Whether on a bicycle, ATV, on foot or in a scout car, their team members have been seen at parks, various community events, and more. They are accessible, whether it’s a 55 event or helping to serve coffee on McHappy Day.
Auxiliary back in service
The people who have been sidelined were brought back for services during the pandemic. This Division is part of a pilot project along with 14, 41, and 51 Divisions to incorporate our Auxiliary officers back to full operational functions.
These auxiliary officers have been working with the Community Response Unit (CRU) to patrol Woodbine Beach and Ash bridges Bay areas. They were doing some great community engagement work while educating the public on bylaws and provincial laws.
Heroes of Suicide Candlelight Service
Heroes of Suicide is an initiative of Todmorden Branch 10 of The Royal Canadian Legion who saw a need to expand the program to include first responders who serve the community and who struggle with PTSD and other mental health-related issues.
To wrap up!
The Toronto Police have done a lot for the safety of the city of Toronto and are still struggling for better changes. Toronto Police Service also maintains a public safety data portal that provides users with crime location data at the neighborhood level. CPLC has also released guidelines for Halloween this year. They are devising strategies to cope up with the current challenges of the city of Toronto. As the SafteTO plan involved goals related to education, healthcare systems, most of them have been worked on during the last months.