'Paws' for the cause

Photo of the blog author By Ron Fanfair,
Toronto Police Service
Published: 11:05 a.m. April 16, 2015

To combat an increase in break-and-enters in East Scarborough, 42 Division has devised a unique approach, using human beings and their canine partners.

A large room with people seated and a screen in the front with a information slideshow on community safety on display
Dog walkers are being encouraged to keep an eye out for suspicious activity in their neighbourhood by 41 Division.

Dog walkers are encouraged to call police if they notice any suspicious activity while out walking their pets.

Constable Gary Gomez and his Crime Prevention Unit conceived the “Pause for the Cause” initiative.

“We’ve been having a problem with break-and-enters throughout the Division,” said Gomez. “As the crime prevention officer, I have been working hard to come up with strategies to discourage theses criminal activities and enhance neighbourhood safety,”

As part of the Division’s Dog Walker Safety Initiative, interested citizens will be trained to assist in safeguarding their neighbourhoods.

“When they are out there walking, they would be more likely to notice suspicious people or activity in their neighbourhoods ,” said Gomez. ‘We want them to call us so we can investigate before a crime occurs. They will be our eyes and ears in the community. We are not asking anybody to do anything extra.”

The Scarborough Dog Walking Group supports the initiative.

“We sent an e-mail to them to see if they would be interested and they responded very positively,” added Gomez. “The group passed on the information in a community newsletter and garnered a lot of attention. We have also heard from folks in Liberty Village, the Beaches, Cabbagetown and Regent Park who are interested. The great thing is this initiative can be implemented anywhere people walk their dogs.”

The first training session for dog walkers took place on April 14.

Individuals interested in securing training can call Gomez at 416-808-4220 or e-mail him at gary.gomez@torontopolice.on.ca.

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