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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Crime Watch

Police Academy #4: Citizens on Patrol is perhaps one of my favourite movies - a classic even now as much as it was in the late 1980's. However, even though Tackleberry's aviator shades are the coolest, I wouldn't say that I fancy myself a renegade crime fighter. Down at 55 Division, they are hoping the same thing. At a recent BIA meeting, I had the privilege to meet Sam Fernandes, Superintendent down at 55 Division, and he opened up a whole new world of neighbourhood watch to me.

The conversation started with graffiti (Sam happened to mention that their graffiti analysis of Danforth East shows that it is not gang related which is a really great thing) and ended with a discussion about broken car windows. The jist of it is that when your car window gets broken or your mailbox vandalised a) don't look for your closest baseball bat and b) don't call 9-1-1 unless your life is being threatened. The emergency response team will most likely not get to you because although these are traumatic things, murders and theivery are higher up on the red alert list.

However, all is not in vain. Sam urges people to call 416-808-5500 which is the front desk down at 55 Division to report these issues. You may not get a flat foot at your door pronto, but someone will follow-up with you. Although they won't be able to replace your window, they want to know about these instances of petty crime so that they can put it in a database and analyze larger patterns. He also urges people who are paint brush happy to lay off cleaning up the graffiti until the police have had a chance to photograph it (but please, call and report it!).

And just to be clear - this is only in the case of minor infractions. If you've been robbed or attacked or your cat is stuck up in a tree, definitely call 9-1-1!!!

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