Pride Flags Flown at all public-facing Toronto Police buildings Across City

Logan D Suza

In support of the LGBTQ2S+ communities, Pride Flags were hoisted for the first time at all buildings that face the public of the Toronto Police Department.

Throughout the city, groups of TPS members—both police officers and civilians—gathered for formal and informal celebrations of Pride Month.

The largest event was held at 51 Division, where dozens of community members and police officers, many of whom identify as LGBTQ2S+, celebrated Pride Month together.

Administrator Chris Kirkpatrick said it’s a significant opportunity to tune in and gain from one another to fabricate trust.

He stated, “Today is a symbol of our ongoing effort to build trust and, more importantly, our ongoing desire to serve the community.”

Sergeant Henry Dyck, a neighborhood community officer, said that seeing the Pride flag at work gives him comfort as a gay man.

It reassures me that I am supported despite my differences with you and that this is a secure environment. Dyck said, “I can only imagine that as a child or when I got hired as a new police officer, had I ever seen a Pride flag flying,” noting that there are numerous instances of homophobic and racist speech occurring close to home and that many places in the world do not enjoy the freedom to celebrate inclusion.

Alisha Stubbs, who resigned from her position as a city councilor in Norwich, Ontario, following the city’s enactment of a bylaw prohibiting non-government flags, such as Pride flags, from being displayed on municipal properties, attended the celebration at 51 Division with members of her Oxford County community. Along with Stubbs, 51 Division Inspector Kathlin Seremetkovski assisted in the flag raising.

City Councilor Chris Moise and individuals from the Toronto Police Affiliation additionally joined the festival.

The Pride banner has been flying at Base camp since May 17 perceiving the Worldwide Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

Constable Robert Chevalier, the LGBTQ2S+ Liaison Officer, stated that flying flags throughout the city sends a powerful message about inclusion.

Chevalier stated, “I want to thank those who came before me; people made it much easier for me to get into policing as an LGBT member,” and “I also commit to do my part to continue to advocate for those who feel left out.”

Chevalier stated, “It shows we offer support to our communities and a safe space.” Whether individuals wish to locate a safe space or come to report a hate crime, they are aware that they can do so with the Toronto Police Service.

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