In November of 2017, it was announced that the Toronto Police Services 51 Division would be dedicating 4 neighbourhood officers to patrol the Church-Wellesley Village, St. James Town, and surrounding areas. This announcement followed years of advocacy, from my office and the local community, in response to growing safety concerns.
This initiative has proven highly effective, as dedicated officers allow the police to build a stronger, more trusting relationship with local residents and business owners. The officers chosen for this assignment are culturally competent, and either LGBTQ identified, or sensitive and aware of the issues faced by marginalized communities. They are also nearby to respond far more quickly to priority calls.
Though there are many avenues to explore, in terms of improving safety downtown, the dedicated officer program has been applauded by local residents and the BIA. Successful collaborations like this bring us further along in our journey towards safer and healthier neighbourhoods.