Toronto Police’s 52 Division, located at University and Dundas, is situated at one of the city’s busiest intersections. But at 4 a.m it is quiet, dark, and almost peaceful. There are no honking cars, no backed-up buses lumbering in and out of Chinatown. The streetlights change with almost no purpose and you can hear the odd footstep down two blocks.
Sgt. Mike Facoetti has been doing station duties such as filing paperwork and dealing with walk-in reports from citizens for 20 years. He is one of the few up at 4 a.m. when his shifts call for it.
Facoetti has been in the police force for 28 years. His thoughts on his job are easy to put into words.
“I love it,” he says without hesitation.
Facoetti’s goal had been to join the police force since he was 12 or 13. He says working in the middle of the night allows him to take care of his administrative duties.
4 a.m can be an ungodly hour to be awake. “It’s not normal to get up and to be up,” Facoetti says.
As bakers or painters wake up before dawn to get ready for work, it can become almost routine. But not for a police officer. Crime is unpredictable, and each shift can bring with it any number of situations.
“Crime is a crime. It can occur any time of the day,” Facoetti says.
And while one might assume deepest, darkest night is when most crime goes down, Toronto Police data for 2018 shows 4 a.m. is not as busy as one might think. The highest rates of crime in Toronto occurred between noon and 6 p.m., with the highest rate at around 3 p.m.
Data from many American cities follows a similar pattern. According to the U.S Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, the most popular time for violent crime is around 2 p.m. and is committed by juveniles, those under the age of 18.
The highest crime category in Toronto is assaults with a total number of 19,327 as of 2018. The lowest category was theft with a standing number of 1,224. The month during which the most crime occurred was in October with 3,277 crimes recorded.