Toronto Police's new series to build public trust is drawing mixed reaction
The Toronto Police Service has taken it upon themselves to boost the public's trust of the force with a new interview series - but the reaction isn't 100 per cent positive.
Called #TPSTrust, the campaign tries to show the public "a side of police officers they don't usually see," and focuses on interviews with an officer and former crime reporter Tamara Cherry.
Every week, this page will highlight a different conversation facilitated by former crime reporter @tamaracherry, showing members of the public a side of police officers they don’t usually see. Here’s a sneak peek! #TPSTrusthttps://t.co/iFPp0fEIXO— TPS Trust (@TPSTrust) July 8, 2022
The entire conversation is shared on the force's YouTube page while clips from the interviews are shared on social media.
"By building your trust, our aim is to build safer communities," reads the campaign's YouTube page.
It seems the campaign just started and only two interviews have been published so far. However fresh, there seems to be mixed reaction from some.
A clip from one of the first interviews showing Cherry and her interviewee (a special constable) salsa dancing was shared by community activist and author Desmond Cole, who seemingly laughed at the series.
Toronto police have a new campaign called TPS Trust. they say it will "show you a side of police officers you don't usually see."— negro frolics (@DesmondCole) July 18, 2022
the interview series is hosted by Tamara Cherry, a former crime reporter
don't trust the cops? probably because you've NEVER SEEN THEM SALSA pic.twitter.com/Hos7rquqQe
"Don't trust the cops? Probably because you've NEVER SEEN THEM SALSA," read Cole's tweet.
Though some might laud the force for trying to build the gap between communities, others say it reads as tone deaf given the force's apology to the city's Black community last month - which wasn't accepted by many.
The apology came after a data release showed Black individuals faced a disproportionally higher amount of police force and were more likely to have a gun pulled on them compared to white people.
Of course, the dancing part is just for under two minutes of the lengthy interview, which also talks about the constable's life before policing, post-secondary education journey, and love for dancing.
The constable also spoke about building relationships with the community, outside of a police response.
When it comes to policing, Machado’s focus is on building relationships. pic.twitter.com/xoCsrpDs4X— TPS Trust (@TPSTrust) July 11, 2022
Comments under the video on YouTube were almost all positive, with some saying the video was "very hopeful and motivational."
The seemingly negative response isn't coming for the dancing cop but for the entire force itself. That doesn't mean that people with a negative response want to see the public distrusting the force - they just want to see trust in a more meaningful way.
By focusing on individual officers' lives instead of addressing major concerns about how Toronto police operate and how they commit to do better, it seems many aren't buying what the force is selling.
Join the conversation Load comments