Blair says Toronto safer

Toronto police Chief Bill Blair reveals results of the TPS Summer Safety Initiative today. (Zenaira Ali/Toronto Observer)

The Toronto police chief said the streets of the city were safer this summer because his officers worked compulsory overtime hours.

In late July this year, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair announced the launch of the Toronto Police Service’s Summer Safety Initiative (SSI), which resulted in the equivalent of 329 additional full-time officers monitoring the city between July 26 and Sept. 9.

Earlier today, he announced the results of the SSI at Toronto Police headquarters on College Street.

“There was a reduction of all crime in all areas of the city,” Blair said. “We asked our people to step up this summer and they’ve answered the call.”

SSI was implemented in response to heightened levels of violence across the city, notably the shooting at Eaton Centre on June 2 and the Danzig Street shootings on July 16.

“This wasn’t about how many people we arrested, but how we made the streets safer and I think by all accounts we’ve succeeded,” he said. “We have worked very hard to restore a sense of safety.”

In comparison to the same period of time in 2005, the total number of homicides decreased by 78.9 per cent in 2012. Specifically, shooting homicides went down by 86.7 per cent.