East York Strategy
The East York
is modelled after a
successful programme in North Etobicoke, called the Etobicoke Strategy. In
January, 2006, Pastor Jim Parker (of Bethany Baptist Church, East York) heard
Pastor Walter McIntyre (of Kipling Avenue Baptist, Etobicoke) speak about what
the churches and community were doing in their neighbourhood. Pastor Jim
caught the vision of what we -- the churches and community of East York -- could
do together. Staff Inspector Daniel Hayes and Police from 54 Division have
been very supportive of this faith-based, police and community supported
programme. Pastor Jim has since become a member of the Community-Police
Liaison Committee of 54 Division, and a participant of the East York Action
About the Etobicoke Strategy
The Etobicoke Strategy is a faith led, police supported initiative dedicated to reducing the incidence of crime in North Etobicoke. Concerns regarding the impact of violent crime in our community led a group of Toronto pastors and police to travel to Boston to witness a faith based, and police supported, initiative known as the Boston Strategy. Led by Dr. Eugene Rivers, clergy, police and community support personnel gathered in an effort to reduce the high levels of violent crime plaguing Boston. Given that violent crime was becoming more of an issue in Toronto, and that the Boston Strategy had been quite successful, this group of clergy and police sought ways to implement a similarly successful strategy in Toronto.
Upon reflection, it became evident that Toronto was too large to implement a city wide program. However, Etobicoke clergy, and police from 23 Division, felt that many aspects of the Boston initiative could be implemented in their community with a positive effect. As a result the Etobicoke Strategy was formed.
Members of Etobicoke Strategy include faith leaders from both the ministry and their congregations. More than eight faith denominations have committed to involvement in the Etobicoke Strategy. Additionally, there has been very strong support from 23 Division of the Toronto Police Services.
While the original Boston Strategy entailed a ten point plan to address concerns in Boston, the Etobicoke Strategy was adapted to include a five point program which addresses the unique cultural realities of Etobicoke. The strategy includes, but is not limited to the following
1. Developing initiatives to create jobs for young people.
2. Providing safe play areas for children and youth through active supervision of community and school playgrounds and gymnasiums.
3. Organizing special “impact” events for the community
4. Establishing “Operation Homefront”, a program designed to provide faith based mentoring to high school students in “at risk” communities.
5. Providing assistance to individuals who have been the victims of crime.
Initial Accomplishments of
the Etobicoke Strategy
2. Graffiti Painting project
3. Volunteer Youth Teams from around Ontario and North America
4. Toronto Argonaut "Stop the Violence" Campaign
5. Partnership with 23 Division ... community walk around involving police and clergy
6. School Supervision Initiative
7. Homework Clubs
8. Babysitting Centers
9. Employment of Local Youth