Toronto police to increase presence on the TTC after rise in violent activities

In response to an increase in violence and criminal acts in the city’s transit system, Toronto police will be increasing its daily presence on the TTC.

“It is clear that more has to be done to increase the safety of the public and of the city’s transit workers who perform a vital service for all of us,” said Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw.”TTC CEO Rick Leary and I have been speaking about how the Toronto Police Service could enhance the TTC’s security presence in the transit system. We have moved quickly, along with the support of the Mayor and the Toronto Police Services Board, to confirm sustainable solutions to address the safety of Torontonians.”

Demkiw was joined at Toronto Police Headquarters today by Mayor John Tory, TTC Chair Jon Burnside and TTC CEO Rick Leary and Acting Deputy Chief Lauren Pogue to address safety concerns in the city’s transit system.

“As Chief, I want to remind people that we live in a safe city. That does not mean that we will not require the police and others to respond to violent and criminal acts,” Demkiw continued. “But, hundreds of thousands of people travel our city every day, using subways, streetcars and buses safely. They get to work, social events, schools and other places because the men and women of the TTC do keep us moving.” He continued, “We will work with our partners to do all that we can to ensure that people not only are safe, but feel safe”.

TTC Chair Jon Burnside says that he is grateful to be working with the Mayor and Toronto Police to ensure the TTC can focus on delivering transit to the people of Toronto.”

TTC CEO Rick Leary also thanked Mayor Tory, Chair Burnside and Chief Demkiw for their “quick action on this important matter”.

“Safety is paramount to everything we do at the TTC and we are committed to running a safe, reliable transit system. We look forward to working together with experts in crime prevention, mental health and addiction and homelessness to address the recent violence on the system with a coordinated, compassionate approach,” Leary said.

In addition to the existing regular patrols currently being done by divisional officers and specialized units, effective today, Toronto police will be significantly increasing its daily presence within the transit system.

The plan aims to have upwards of 80 police officers throughout the city’s transit locations, across all 16 divisions, staffed primarily by callback shifts, which are shifts filled by off-duty officers in an overtime capacity so that on-shift, frontline officers remain available to respond to priority calls.

“The deployments will focus on reducing victimization, preventing crimes of opportunity and enhancing public safety,” Demkiw said. “These deployments will be dynamic and may change from day-to-day. However, our officers will be on, in, and around the transit system, across the city, throughout the day and late into the evening every day.”

“Officers from across the city will be participating in this enhancement, and those who ride the transit system will immediately notice an increased presence of Toronto Police officers in the subways, on streetcars and buses,” he added.



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