Greater police presence coming to public spaces, buildings

Toronto police chief annouces new security precautions for city after shooting events in Ottawa

Police Chief Bill Blair addresses the media on Wednesday. Blair announced new security precautions that will see more police present at public spaces and institutions around the city. Nicholas Misketi/Toronto Observer

Toronto police will increase their presence at various public spaces and institutions around the city.

Police Chief Bill Blair announced the new security precautions at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. The announcement came in reaction to a shooting that occurred on Wednesday morning at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

Blair specifically mentioned that Queen’s Park, City Hall, courthouses, government and military facilities, consulates and the TTC subway system would have a “more visible police presence.”

A gunman opened fire on a Canadian soldier and then proceeded to enter the parliament buildings nearby causing Parliament Hill to go under lockdown.

The soldier, identified as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of Hamilton, died later in hospital from the gunshot wounds.

Chief Blair condemned the shooting but said he could not comment on the event or the ongoing investigation in Ottawa.

Blair called the new precautions “necessary and prudent” to ensure the safety of citizens and the city. He also stressed that “no specific or identified credible threat” to any citizens or the city exists at this time, but asked Torontonians to help police efforts.

“I would ask all of our citizens for their continuing support,” he said. “If you see something that concerns you or if you see anything suspicious, please do not hesitate to call: we will respond.”

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly also talked about the incident after Blair announced the measures. He addressed concerns of profiling of the Muslim community in Toronto after the shooting in Ottawa and Montreal.

“I would urge people not to reach judgment until all the facts are known,” he said.

Kelly said police will closely monitor the situation in the city, but that there’s nothing to suggest Toronto’s under a major threat.

About this article

By: Nicholas Misketi and Arturo Chang
Posted: Oct 22 2014 7:53 pm
Filed under: News