Thursday, February 23, 2012

Helping kids to start a journey

To celebrate Family Literacy Day in Canada, on Jan 27, Const. David Johnson donated about 600 books to the Yonge St. Mission and he and other 51 Division officers engaged the organization’s pre-schoolers in reading.
“Learning to read is a journey that can happen anywhere, anytime, anyday and by anyone,” said the 37-year-old veteran officer.

“You can read alone or in a group and this is what we are trying to do.”

This is the third year Johnson has distributed books to the non-profit Christian faith group.

Thomas Allen, Scholastica Canada and The World's Biggest Bookstore donated the books.

“These books are not only for this centre, but some will be used as prizes for essay-writing contests,” Johnson added.

“The books can also be used by newcomers whose first language is not English.”

The mission’s corporate relations and marketing manager Julia Silvestri welcomed the officers to the mission on behalf of the staff and volunteers.

“This is an opportunity for the kids in the daycare to see police as people they can engage with in a positive light,” she said.

Each kid that passes through the daycare program receives a book.

Joining Johnson at the event were unit commander Supt. John Tanouye, Insp. Gary Meissner, S/Sgt. Rudy Pasini, Det. Barry Radford and Consts. Martin McLaughlin and Kris Lobo.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Distracted driving campaign results: “Don’t Drive Distracted”

Tuesday, February 21, 2012, Broadcast time: 15:11
Traffic Services:  416−808−1900

On Monday, February 13, 2012, the Toronto Police Service launched a one−week enforcement campaign, “Don’t Drive Distracted”. Distracted driving poses a serious and growing danger to road safety in our community. The Toronto Police Service continues to take aim at all forms of distracted driving, including the irresponsible behaviour of drivers who engage in texting or making phone calls on their handheld devices.

During the seven−day campaign, which ended on Sunday, February 19, 2012, the Toronto Police Service issued:
Display screen visible to the driver
Hand held communication device
Hand held entertainment device
Careless driving

A total of 9,876 charges were laid in comparison to the 8,758 charges laid in the 2011 campaign.

Distracted driving refers to all forms of distracted or inattentive driving such as adjusting a vehicle's entertainment or GPS unit, eating and drinking, using a handheld device or viewing a DVD player or computer screen, etc. Drivers must realize that the true danger to public safety lies in the distraction, not the device.

The Toronto Police Service will continue its efforts to minimize the dangerous activity that distracted driving poses to all of the people who use Toronto’s roads, through continued education and enforcement.

Traffic Services is dedicated to ensuring the safe and orderly movement of traffic within the City of Toronto. Stay informed with what’s happening at: Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, Facebook Group and on Blog.

Constable Tony Vella, Corporate Communications, for Constable Hugh Smith, Traffic Services

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

TPS offers opportunity for community input with online polling

Wednesday, February 15, 2012  Broadcast time: 11:38
Corporate Planning:  416−808−7770

To expand the opportunities for community input, the Toronto Police Service includes online polling on its website.
Questions are posted on various policing issues and the results published at the end of the period. Results from previous polls are also available. A new poll began on Monday, February 13, 2012, asking the following questions:

Do you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree that, in general, you think CCTV cameras in public places are a good idea?

Do you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree that CCTV cameras invade people’s privacy?

How effective do you believe CCTV cameras are, or would be, at reducing crime in your neighbourhood?

The TPS is encouraging the people of Toronto to visit the Have Your Say section of the TPS website and provide the Service with their opinions.

Constable Tony Vella, Corporate Communications, for Donald Bevers, Corporate Planning

ID: 22799

Sunday, February 12, 2012

“Don’t Drive Distracted”

Media advisory, Monday, February 13, 2012 to Sunday, February 19, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012 - Broadcast time: 13:00
Traffic Services:  416-808-1900

The Toronto Police Service will be launching the “Don’t Drive Distracted” campaign, starting Monday, February 13, 2012, concluding on Sunday, February 19, 2012.

This traffic-safety initiative highlights the dangerous activities associated with drivers who continue to use hand-held cell phones, and hand-held communications and entertainment devices while driving.  Provincial legislation came into effect on October 26, 2009, focusing on educating drivers about Ontario's new road laws and creating specific offences for this dangerous-driving behaviour. 

The legislation states that drivers must use only wireless devices that can be used in a hands-free manner:
- a cell phone with an earpiece or headset using voice dialling or plugged into the vehicle's sound system
- a global positioning system (GPS) device that is properly secured to the dashboard or another accessible place in the vehicle
- a portable audio player that has been plugged into the vehicle's sound system

9 -1-1 calls for emergency assistance are permitted under the legislation.

Distracted driving is any action a driver engages in that does not have to do with the operation of a vehicle. Some actions may not be considered distractions by some drivers and we need to understand that these distractions are commonplace on today’s roads and fall into three categories. 

These three distraction categories are:
Manual Distractions
– when you take your hands of the wheel
Visual Distractions – removing your eyes from the sight of the road
Cognitive Distractions – being distracted by thinking about something else

The hands-free distracted-driving law makes it illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held communications and entertainment devices.

There are other distractions that can also affect a driver's focus. Some common ones to consider:
- eating while driving
- driving with an unsecured pet
- slowing down to look at a collision scene
- applying cosmetics or personal grooming

Although it may be unintentional, the charges for engaging in this kind of distractive behavior can be considered careless or even dangerous, when drivers put both themselves and others at risk of injury.

Constable Tony Vella, Corporate Communications, for Constable Hugh Smith, Traffic Services

ID: 22772

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Take a minute and get to know your smartphone, Learn how to lock your device

Thursday, February 9, 2012 - Broadcast time: 14:00 - Communications Services: 416−808−8899

Over the past few weeks, the Toronto Police Service has seen a reduction in pocket−dialed calls. The message is getting out there. However, pocket−dialing and misdialing 9−1−1 remains a problem in Toronto.

Every device is different and it will only take a few seconds to learn the best way to lock and secure your keypad. It may be as simple as placing it in standby mode. By doing so, you will still be able to receive calls, but it will significantly reduce the chance of a pocket dial.

In the event you have misdialed 9−1−1, remain on the line and speak to the operator. Letting them know that you do not need assistance will save precious seconds and allow the operator to answer a call from someone who has a genuine emergency.

Click here to see our new PSA, and here for the mobile version.

Constable Victor Kwong, Corporate Communications,
for E9−1−1 Voice Services Coordinator Tracy Finn, Communications Services

Friday, February 03, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday R.I.D.E. out in force - Save lives

Traffic Services  416−808−1900

The Toronto Police Service would like to remind the public that R.I.D.E. teams will be out during and after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5, 2012.

Impaired driving remains the number one criminal cause of death in Canada. In Ontario, approximately one−quarter of all road fatalities are alcohol−related. Over 16,000 people in Ontario are convicted annually for impaired−related criminal offences.

During Super Bowl weekend, the Toronto Police Service will increase its efforts to protect the public, with multiple R.I.D.E. programs and patrols targeting impaired drivers. The message is and will always be, “If you drink, don’t drive.”

Choosing a responsible option to driving is the first step. Options include public transit, designated drivers, taxis, limousines, and hotels.

Walking while intoxicated is also extremely dangerous. Many pedestrians have been seriously injured or killed by walking, stumbling or falling into traffic.

The best way to combat drinking and driving is for everyone to take an active role as partners in road safety. If you see someone who appears to be, or you know is, driving or about to drive impaired, call 9−1−1.

You could be saving lives.

If you are hosting a party, ensure that you have non−alcoholic options available for your guests. Don’t allow anyone to drive away from your home if you suspect they are impaired.

Constable Tony Vella, Corporate Communications, for Constable Clinton Stibbe, Traffic Services

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Purse snatch and theft prevention

There have been 4 reported instances of purse snatches/muggings in 51 Division in the last two weeks  (See News Reports).  A purse snatch (robbery) can occur anywhere at anytime. In order to reduce your risk, there are many precautions you can take.

For Your Protection

  • Never place a purse strap around your neck or wrap it around your wrist; forcible removal could result in serious personal injury
  • Look confident and always be aware of your immediate surroundings
Reduce the risk
When Travelling In Your Vehicle
  • Place your purse under the seat or secure it in the trunk
  • Park in a well-lit, attended area if possible
  • Completely close and lock all windows and doors
  • NEVER label your keys with your name and address…this is an invitation for thieves to identify and rob your home
When In Public
  • When possible, walk with a friend - try to avoid walking alone
  • When in a restaurant or other public area, DO NOT leave your purse draped over the back of your chair
  • When shopping, DO NOT leave your purse unattended in the change room or shopping cart - EVEN FOR A SECOND!
  • When at work, DO NOT leave your purse in plain view, lock it a drawer or cabinet
Other Important Tips
  • Carry key chains separate from your purse-you will still be able to get into your car or home if your are robbed
  • Before setting out, make it a point to bring along only the credit cards, cheques and amount of money that you will actually need. Carry your cash and cards in a jacket pocket
  • Use a fanny pack or waist pouch instead of a purse
If You Are A Victim
  • Release the Purse - Do not risk personal injury
  • Scream and Yell - Attracted attention may scare off a would-be attacker
  • Make a Mental Note - Note the thief's appearance i.e. height, weight, hair colour/style, clothing, etc.
  • Call 9.1.1. Immediately - Report the incident to the Police
  • Seek Medical Attention - If you have any injuries, see your doctor
  • Notify your Financial Institutions - Advise your banks and/or credit companies of stolen credit cards, ATM cards or cheques
  • Notify Government Agencies - Advise Government agencies of your stolen documents such as:
    Social Insurance Card
    Birth Certificate
    Driver's Licence
    Health Card