ttc violence

Toronto Police devoting more staff to patrol TTC as violence spins out of control

The Toronto Police Service announced on Thursday that there will be an increased presence of officers in the city's transit system in response to a recent spike in violent crimes on the TTC over the past few weeks. 

Chief Myron Demkiw and Deputy Chief Lauren Pogue were joined by TTC CEO Rick Leary and Mayor John Tory at police headquarters to provide an update on transit safety in Toronto.

Demkiw announced the plan, which aims to have upwards of 80 police officers in place throughout the transit system every day. The positions will be filled by off-duty officers in an overtime capacity. 

"These deployments will focus on reducing victimization, preventing crimes of opportunity and enhancing public safety," he said.  "Given this, our deployments will be dynamic and may change from day-to-day."

Demkiw said police officers will be on, in, and around the transit system throughout the day and late into evening each and every day. 

"Those who ride the transit will immediately notice an increased presence of Toronto police officers in the subway, on streetcars, and buses," he added. 

Mayor John Tory said deploying more police officers in the system during a time of anxiety is simply "the right thing to do." 

"Some have been critical of these initiatives, and critical of increased investments in the police service, but they were right at the first time when I announced them, and they are still a necessary part of the safety answers for today and for tomorrow," Tory said. 

However, many people weren't too thrilled with the new plan, and attributed the root of the problem to lack of mental health support and inadequate housing in the city. 

One person suggested that the city should invest in social programs instead. 

Another person called the increased police presence a "short-term solution."

Other people suggested investing in healthcare and housing, as opposed to increased policing. 

Another person said the new plan doesn't make them feel any safer taking the TTC. 

The new plan comes after an unprecedented week of back-to-back violent attacks on the TTC, that have many commuters questioning the safety of the transit line. 

Just this week, a TTC passenger was shot at with a replica/BB gun at York University Subway station, a woman was violently robbed of her purse at Broadview station, a pair of TTC workers were chased by an assailant wielding a syringe at Dundas station, a 16-year-old was stabbed on a bus at Old Mill station, and a woman stabbed a female victim on a Spadina streetcar.

Lead photo by

Kris Pangilinan

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