Today, I met with the Church-Wellesley Village BIA, the Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association, the 519, Progress Place, Parks staff, Mayor's staff and 51 Division to discuss neighbourhood safety. I am pleased to announce today that 51 Division will be deploying four Neighbourhood Officers to the Church-Wellesley Village and St. James Town starting November 6, 2017. Following on the positive work done earlier this fall with foot patrol officers being deployed in the Church-Wellesley Village, these staff resources will improve community-based policing and enhance safety in our vibrant, inclusive neighbourhoods.
These dedicated resources will allow residents and business owners to establish closer relationships with the officers attending to local concerns and builds on the Toronto Police Service’s commitments in the TPS Action Plan: The Way Forward, Modernizing Community Safety in Toronto that was released in January, 2017. I am very proud of the responsiveness 51 Division has shown in meeting the needs of our community. These dedicated officers will be hosting a special "Coffee with Cops" event on November 15th at the Second Cup on Church Street from 3:30-6:30pm.
My discussion with local representatives focused on this program and other pro-active interventions to address some of the concerns that have been raised in the neighbourhood. Between these conversations, my upcoming Healthy Communities Summit at Covenant House on November 15, 6:00pm and the 2018 City Budget process, I hope to work with all community partners to ensure our downtown neighbourhoods have the wrap-around services and safety resources they need to holistically address the wide range of health and safety challenges Toronto is confronted with. As we establish new interventions and activations, we will endeavor to share information and publicize how you can get involved.
The Church-Wellesley Village and St. James Town are both dynamic and inviting neighbourhoods. By coming together with community groups, police, and service agencies, we will continue to find solutions to the challenges that emerge in our downtown communities. I specifically want to thank Superintendent Tony Rivere and Detective Henry Dyck from 51 Division for their active listening and leadership in advocating for our communities.
I am grateful that the Church-Wellesley Village and St. James Town will now see a more neighbourhood-centric model of policing. I know that Deputy Mayor McConnell would have also been very pleased with this new initiative. Although there is substantially more work to do in the weeks and months ahead and I look forward to these continued partnerships in finding sustainable and focused community-oriented solutions.