As part of the Toronto Police Service’s modernization plan that places the community at the core of the transformation, Neighbourhood Officers will be empowered to engage and work with communities.
Neighbourhood Officers will have the role to develop inclusive and cooperative strategies that resolve issues, build trust and partnerships, all the while promoting community safety.
At the first in a series of community information sessions, at the Wigwamen Residence in Scarborough on June 12, Deputy Chief Peter Yuen reiterated that Canada’s largest police organization cares about the service it’s delivering to communities.
The senior officer is in charge of the Communities & Neighbourhoods Command.
“The officers in your neighbourhoods will work with you on a consistent basis to forge a relationship,” he said. “They want to get to know the community, your children and the elders. They will also be there to access other services for you. When you call 9-1-1, the police officer will not come, deal with the problem and drive away. This is called reactive emergency response. Our officers will be stationed in your community for a period of time to form that relationship.”
There are currently 98 officers in 33 neighbourhoods across the city that are engaged in neighbourhood policing.
The program was created five years ago to reduce crime, build relationships and help increase police’s trust and legitimacy.
“The city has more than 33 neighbourhoods, so we know it’s not enough,” said Yuen. “We want to have more Neighbourhood Officers and be more accessible in different communities.”
Neighbourhood Officers will be selected with an emphasis on core competencies that reflect high expectations for community interaction, empathy, collaboration and engagement.
“They will have to have the right attitude and mindset,” Yuen said. “I want my officers to not only serve and protect but also to do so with care and compassion “Neighbourhood Officers are there to help and they will understand the issues first hand because they will be present in the communities. They will be part of the solution, working hand-in-hand with the communities they serve and the partner agencies that can provide assistance."
Neighbourhood officer assignments will be a minimum of three years in length, with an option to extend an officer’s tenure where appropriate. This will maximize the value of this dedicated, locally focused policing approach both to communities and to the officers working in them.
There are more public consultations on the Neighbourhood Officer programs:
- 41 Division: June 19 @ the Warden Hilltop Community Centre (25 Mendelssohn St.), 6 to 8 p.m & June 20 @ Kennedy Park Neighborhood Hub (2600 Eglinton Ave. E., 6 to 8 p.m.
- 11 Division: June 25 @ 4020 Dundas St. W. Gymnasium, 7 to 9 p.m.
- 42 Division: June 26 @ Chester Le Community Centre (201 Chester Le Blvd.)