As a member of the Integrated Security Unit (ISU) for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, I initially reached out in an email to ask if I can wear my Day of Pink shirt on April 9 and asked if anyone was interested in participating.
I thought it would be a good fit since the Games are all about diversity, teamwork and sport.
Literally within minutes the ISU team rallied and orders came flying in.
The Day of Pink is the International Day Against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia and Transphobia. Everyone is invited to wear pink in their schools, organizations and workplaces to support the message.
I’m so impressed with the response I received from the ISU team and my Toronto colleagues. We raised over $500 with the sale of the t-shirts in support of the Toronto Police LGBTQ Internal Support Network and quite frankly look amazing.
We consist of municipal police services that will be responsible for the police component of the games and are overseen by the Ontario Provincial Police.
OPP Planning Lead Mike McDonell and Toronto Police Service Lead Brian Preston both supported the initiative.
"The ISU is working diligently to provide a safe and secure environment for Pan and Para-pan Am athletes so that as a community we can celebrate the best of sports.," McDonell said. "And on this International Day of Pink, we hope to carry the example of sport which clearly demonstrates that you can be a victor without having victims."
Part of sport is about respect for one another, teamwork, acceptance, and hopefully learning from one another. Regardless of whether you are member of a sporting team, police team,or accomplishing something on your own– there is no justification for bullying.
I think for me what makes this a great thing is that all the municipalities and the OPP involved in the PAN AM games have come together as a team to provide security for the athletes, spectators and others involved.
We all have different experiences in policing, come from different backgrounds and are from a variety of geographical areas in southern Ontario.
As LGBTQ Internal Support Network co-chair, a Toronto Police officer and participant in the Together We Can Make It Better. Stop. Bullying. Now. video , I am very excited that this initiative is continuing on and my hopes are that it does for some time.