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Supt.Ruth White, Fourteen Division, Toronto Police Service,
150 Harrison Street, Toronto M6G 2A4
Dear Superintendent White,
Yesterday in mid-morning an officer from Fourteen Division sat in his vehicle in Dufferin Grove Park with his engine idling for about half an hour, on the grass near the basketball court. A number of people asked him if there was a problem. He indicated that he was just doing preventive policing because the park has lots of drug dealing.
1 . At that time of the morning, that area of the park was pretty well empty. 2. Your officer seemed to feel that all parks are the same, and said he was not aware of anything unusual about Dufferin Grove Park. Like many of your staff, he apparently is not a resident of Toronto. 3. When I suggested to him that he might park his car on the road and walk around the park to find out more about it, he declined. 4. When a park staff member offered him a park newsletter to show a bit about what goes on at this park, he refused it.
I am afraid that your officer found the offer of the newsletter alarming, as though he might be confronted with some Jehovahís Witnesses. When I again offered it to him through his open window, he said ďdonít put anything in my carĒ and drove away.
Iím wondering whether we could start over. Since you are the new superintendent, would you be interested in coming to the park for a quick tour and a cup of coffee when you return from your vacation? I think the staff would love to show you what they are trying to do there. And so would I.
Iíve been involved with Dufferin Grove Park for fourteen years, and during that time we have attempted to collaborate with Fourteen Division at various points, not very successfully. However, the park has lately been visited by groups from many parts of Toronto, to find out more about how this park came to be so well-used and lively. It would be wonderful if there could be a productive connection with your Division as well.
The phone number at the park is 416 392-0913, and the lead staff is Mayssan Shuja. She would be glad to arrange a visit, at any time that suits you.
Editor, Dufferin Grove Park Newsletter (most recent copy enclosed)