Coffee, cops, and holiday carols

coffeeA cup of coffee and a little carolling marked the beginning of the holiday season in the Church and Wellesley Sts. neighbourhood. Despite a temperature below freezing, over 100 people – including 15 Community Response Unit officers from 51, 52 and 53 Divisions – gathered in Cawthra Square Park on Nov. 22 to sing holiday music with the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community chorus, Singing OUT! It was the fourth Coffee with the Cops event, which sees police officers gather with community members to talk about neighbourhood concerns and to get to know each other better.
“Although it was very cold evening, it was encouraging to see so many people and officers enjoying the wonderful carolling in the park,” said Christopher Hudspeth, a BIA (Business Improvement Association) representative on the Toronto Police Service’s LGBT Community Consultative Committee. The local Bank of Montreal branch, along with Timothy’s World Coffee, supported the event through their donation of hot beverages.
Community mobilization unit LGBT liaison officer Const. Tom Decker said the event, which coincided with the lighting of trees in the park, brought the community together with neighbourhood officers. “It allowed local area residents to gather and chat with officers who regularly patrol the Church and Wellesley Sts. neighbourhood,” Decker said. “Everyone had an enjoyable evening in the spirit of the holiday season.”