Toronto
2 min

No gay cops for the ghetto

Queer cops will not patrol their own, says the head of 52 Division.



“I don’t want to put gay officers [in the Church-Wellesley area],” Supt Aidan Maher told those attending the Aug 26 Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Police Advisory Committee meeting.



“I don’t want to put black officers up at Jane and Finch. I want my officers to be generalists. I want them to be able to handle everybody, because we serve everybody.”



Nevertheless, Maher said he plans to assign two officers to act as “chiefs of police” on the big gay beat – among others – and he wants you to get to know them.



“You should know them by name, and they should know you by name,” Maher said. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”



But the Church St area already has a foot patrol, supposedly designed with just that sort of community policing in mind.



And the neighbourhood committee has complained many times in the past that residents and merchants just get to know an officer – when they’re transferred elsewhere. And the process begins again.



Maher also said recruits are educated on sexuality issues, and that officers continue to be schooled on the job.



He also said no manager would ever ask a new recruit if he or she was gay.



Police, however, don’t seem to mind asking men hanging out in parks for their names, addresses and employment information. As part of this summer’s $2-million Community Action Policing initiative, police are being paid to work overtime to collect the personal intelligence – questioning up to 2,000 people weekly.



“I have to compliment [Downtown City Councillor] Kyle Rae,” Maher said. “He was one of the generators for this.”



Rae was absent, sending a staffer along in his place.



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Maher also announced that 52 plans a domestic-assault unit.



Police studies give the division with the second-highest rate of domestic violence in Toronto.



“Every day of the week, every day of the year, we average 64 domestic assaults,” he said, adding that straight folks account for most.



“It’s one of the more dangerous calls a police officer encounters.”



Maher says domestic assault is one of the only offences in which an officer cannot use discretion – and that “any type of evidence” will result in an arrest.



“It’s prevalent, it’s dangerous, it’s time consuming, and sometimes we get frustrated by the courts,” he says. “On numerous occasions, the victim will not show up.”





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Promises by the committee’s newest member – a squeegee with the street name Moose – to bring other homeless folk into the loop have fizzled.



Moose joined the committee on something of a dare during the last raucous session (following the Bijou raids).



He was also told that all the slots on the committee are full.