Dennis Hanagan —
When the PanAm and Parapan Am Games come to Toronto next summer police are bracing themselves to handle the increased traffic, officers from 52 Division reported at a public meeting on Dec. 10.
As might be expected priority travel will be made for athletes as they move around Toronto’s streets and out into the GTA to attend their events. About 8,000 to 10,000 athletes, their families, team officials and sports fans from the Americas are expected to attend.
The gathering was a town hall meeting with the 52 Division Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) and the Bay Cloverhill Community Association.
A transportation plan stretching over seven weeks from June 29 to Aug. 18 has been developed by the province and its partners to keep participants, residents, businesses and spectators moving. There’ll be a marathon on Lake Shore Boulevard. Jarvis St. is expected to have HOV (high occupancy vehicles) lanes to quickly move Games participants. Constable Stephen Mueller said, however, no officers will be taken off their regular beats for Games assignments.
He also said the risk of possible threats associated with the Games is low and they will not be treated as a heightened security event. “This is not the G20,” Mueller said. Police will act pretty much the way they would if they were monitoring a Blue Jays game, he added.
Games officials and the city are trying to make sure no road work will take place that would interrupt athletes’ travels and public transit will run as usual, Mueller said.