The 2019 Crime Prevention Week kick-off event was held Monday morning at Humber’s Lakeshore campus, with the theme “Preventing Crime, Protecting People.”
David Rydzik, superintendent community partnerships & engagement, Toronto Police Service (TPS), emceed the event that included an address from the Parliamentary Assistant to the Solicitor General (Community Safety) and MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore Christine Hogarth.
Opening remarks were made by Joe Couto, director of government relations and communications, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP); and Jim Hart, chair of the Toronto Police Services Board; a presentation from Humber’s Bachelor of Social Science – Criminal Justice degree program students, and a moving speech from Humber graduate Pat Livingston, who detailed his experience working as an outreach worker in Toronto’s downtown core.
Afterward, the formal speaking portion of the event concluded, attendees were encouraged to visit community information booths such as Toronto Crime Stoppers, and demonstration booths from TPS one of which included the popular “impaired goggles” technology.
Superintendent Rydzik began the ceremony by explaining that the week provides an opportunity for police services to showcase the services they provide, honour professional law enforcement officers who place their lives at risk to serve the citizens of their communities, and promote collaborative efforts.
Deputy Police Chief David Yuen said Crime Prevention Week is a great opportunity to speak about public well-being. “Policing requires participation and collaboration from all sectors of the community,” he said. Yuen described three key goals TPS has to address the complex needs of the city of Toronto: keeping individuals safe; placing resources where they are needed, and building partnerships within the community. “Crime Prevention Week speaks to all three of our goals, but for Toronto Police Service, every day is about crime prevention,” he said.
Parliamentary Assistant to the Solicitor General Christine Hogarth stressed that crime prevention does not rest on the shoulders of police services alone, citing the effectiveness of partnerships between police services and community organizations, as well as the actions of individual community members. “Every Ontarian should feel empowered to help prevent crime and be engaged in the safety and wellbeing of their community,” she said.
In his remarks, Couto, who is also a Justice Studies professor at the University of Guelph-Humber, acknowledged Humber’s commitment to crime prevention. “Crime prevention isn’t just about the police simply addressing crime when it happens, but about preventing crime,” he said. “I know here at Humber, that’s a very important message that’s delivered by all the faculty in the Justice program at the University of Guelph-Humber, including myself. We are building our future police officers and police personnel to be true crime-fighters, in that sense.”
Patrick Livingston, a graduate of Humber’s Police Foundations and Criminal Justice programs and an outreach worker, gave a passionate speech about the crucial role community plays in preventing crime.
“Being an outreach worker is a tough job,” he said. “What keeps me going is the beautiful and strong sense of community that surrounds my work. I think as a city, we realize working together is crucial for tackling the issues in front of us,” he said. “Seeing the wide variety of different organizations collaborating to navigate this [opioid] crisis gives me hope for the future. To truly prevent crime, we need to come together as a community.”
Crime Prevention Week in Ontario runs from November 3 to 9, 2019. For more information from Toronto Police Services on crime prevention, click here