51 Division officers honoured for rescues, gun and gang investigations: CPLC holds open house May 25

Dennis Hanagan –

Five 51 Division officers will be recognized in May: one for rescuing people at an Ontario St. chemical spill, and four
others for investigative work including guns and gangs.

Inspector Gary Meissner announced the honours at the April meeting of the 51 Division Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC).

Const. Sheraz Arshad rescued several occupants who had begun to lose consciousness during a noxious chemical spill on
Ontario St. Arshad also inhaled the industrialstrength chemicals and was treated at the scene by paramedics. He will be recognized May 2 at Emergency Medical Services headquarters at 4330 Dufferin St.Sergeant Kyle Petrie, and constables Cory Fougere, Rob Coughlin, and Guy Kama will be recognized May 9 at police headquarters on College St. for their work in separate cases including gun, gang and drug investigations, as well as for curtailing out-ofprovince activities of a dangerous serial offender known to 51 Division and for investigating a fraudulent government cheque
cashing syndicate.

In addition, 36 commendations were issued at the unit level from April 3 to 7 for police work conducted over the previous four months.

Meissner reported that the division observed a decrease in violent acts in March due to “Project Captivate” and the work of the division’s firearms response team—which will also be part of the division’s summer safety project running from May 13 to Sept. 2.

Francesco Alvarez and Susan Gapka delivered a presentation to the CPLC about World Pride 2014, which will be hosted in Toronto. Five subcommittees are working on the ten day event, which will incorporate a three-day
human rights conference at Toronto University and a nighttime parade.Attendance is expected to be more than two million.

CPLC event committee member Bob Kemp reported that plans are underway for a May 25 joint open house at 51 Division with local firefighters and a June 15 Regent Park barbeque.

At the open house, CPLC plans to present an award to “a community hero” for contributing to the betterment of life within the division’s boundaries.

The CPLC also heard TAVIS (Toronto Anti- Violence Intervention Strategy) report that four rapid response teams are
currently supporting 17 divisions across the city in cases involving shootings and violent acts. Countering street gangs is a high priority

At its May meeting, the CPLC will hear a guest speaker from Peace Builders International.