Adviser to Montenegro PM meets Chief Blair

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 1:17 p.m. February 5, 2014

When it comes to best practices in policing, Toronto Police are viewed as a leader.

Two man in an office environment holding a gift bag that has a Montenegro crest on it
Dr. Johan Kojicic makes a presentation to Chief William Blair

Four years ago, the Service's Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Trans (LBGT) community consultative committee launched the Report Homophobic Violence, Period (RHVP) that was developed in partnership with 21 agencies, community service-providers and community organizations.

The program engages victims of hate crime, police services and the broader community with the aim of improving the lives of affected victims. It also helps create a safer atmosphere where hate-crime victims can have confidence police will investigate their concerns thoroughly, while treating them with respect.

"Based on community feedback and speaking with our LBGT consultative committee, we felt it was necessary to put together this as part of an educational awareness campaign and also to increase reporting in the LBGT community," said Const. Danielle Bottineau, the Service's LBGT liaison officer.

The program was launched in Montenegro last year.

"They have a huge strategy in place for LBGT human rights over there and we were ecstatic when we were approached to introduce this program there," Bottineau added.

On Feb.5, Dr. Jovan Kojicic, an advisor to Montenegro's Prime Minister Milo Dukanovic on human rights and protection against discrimination, paid a courtesy call on Chief William Blair.

The relationship between the police here and in Montenegro goes back to 2010, focusing on sensitivity training.

Two women (one in police uniform) and a man standing in the hallway of a building
Egale executive director Helen Kennedy, Const. Daniel Bottineau and Dr. Johan Kojicic

"Six police officers came here to be trained for a week and they had the opportunity to take part in the Pride parade in this city."

Egale Canada, the national LBGT human rights organization dedicated to advancing LBGT human rights through education, research and community engagement, is one of the RHVP lead partners.

Helen Kennedy, its executive director, accompanied Kojicic to the meeting with Chief Blair.

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