As Toronto police end overtime patrols on transit, some commuters unsure of results

A day after Toronto police said they were ending extra patrols on city transit, some commuters say they’re unsure how much of an effect the measure had on public safety.

Police announced Monday they were ending the boost in officers’ presence on the Toronto Transit Commission introduced in late January after several high-profile cases of violence.

Those shifts had been filled by officers working overtime, and police said they would return to deploying on-duty officers on the TTC for regular proactive patrols.

Read more: Toronto police to modify deployment of officers on TTC

Daily transit user Chris Zafirati says the introduction of extra police patrols was “a nice gesture” but he did not notice a marked increase in their presence.

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Zafirati says he would like to see increased service and the addition of more special transit constables on the TTC as ways to boost safety.

Monica Mason, volunteer co-ordinator with transit advocacy group TTCriders, says the short-lived increase in police on transit and limited public data supporting it suggest the overtime patrols were largely for optics.

The TTC and Toronto police have said they responded to public concerns and said the extra police presence on transit generated positive feedback from commuters.

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