toronto police trust

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.

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.

"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.

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.

Lead photo by

Toronto Police Service/YouTube

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