Grade 11 students Sara Dacostanevas and Karlie Power were excited to have Toronto Police come to their school to kick off Crime Prevention Week.
The Bishop Marrocco-Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School & Regional Arts Centre hosted the launch on November 5.
“The sense of community they bring to our school is absolutely amazing,” said Power. “We are blessed to have them here today.”
Chief Mark Saunders joined Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) Vice-Chair Jim Hart, Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) Chair Barbara Poplawski, TCDSB Director Roy McGuckin and Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Director of Government Relations & Communications Joe Couto at the event.
Saunders thanked the TCDSB for the ongoing and positive relationship.
“If we help each other and we get it right, then we get to enhance community safety,” he said. “That relationship piece isn’t so easy, especially in today’s environment. We collectively have to figure out what we need to do in order to enhance that relationship.”
Hart said Crime Prevention Week is a time that’s dedicated to increasing community awareness and recognition of policing services while strengthening police-community ties.
“Crime prevention is fundamental to building safe communities, but it can’t be left to the police alone,” he said. “…This year’s theme underscores the importance of using a collaborative approach to which the police and the community are engaged with each other to ensure that our city is safe.”
A/Supt. Dave Rydzik said Crime Prevention Week provides an opportunity to highlight local partnerships and collaborative efforts in areas where police and community partners are working to build stronger and safer communities in Ontario.
“This is a true reflection of the partnership of the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the community members here in the neighbourhood of 11 Division where this school is situated,” he said. “Our partnership with the school board has created the school engagement teams. This team of officers’ primary role is to establish and maintain positive partnerships that aid in creating safe and healthy educational environments for secondary schools in Toronto and the surrounding community. A safer community benefits staff and students alike.”
This year’s theme is ‘Help Us Help You”.
“We can’t do our job without the support of the public,” added Rydzik. “You are part of the school community and the community in which you live. There are some small things you can do like don’t give out your passwords for your personal devices so we can get them returned to you if they are stolen, if you see someone that’s being bullied, say something and if you see suspicious activity taking place on your walk to school, call the police and make a report or use Crime Stoppers. It really doesn’t take much.”
Crime Prevention Week runs from November 4-10.