Friday, March 11, 2011

Change your smoke alarm batteries with the change to daylight saving time

The following message is from Mark Grimes.

The City of Toronto encourages all residents to change their smoke alarm batteries when moving their clocks ahead by an hour this weekend for daylight saving time. The time change takes effect at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 13, 2011.

By installing and maintaining a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, you are ensuring that your family is equipped with the best defense against the devastating effects of fire. By providing an early warning and critical extra seconds to escape, working smoke alarms can cut in half your family’s likelihood of dying in a fire.

Tips for installing and maintaining smoke alarms:
  • When installing smoke alarms, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for information about correct placement, testing and maintenance.
  • Test your smoke alarms every month using the test button.
  • Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year and whenever the low-battery warning chirps.
  • Replace smoke alarms with new ones if they are 10 years old and older
  • Do not remove the smoke alarm battery if cooking smoke or steam from the shower activates the alarm. Instead, try relocating the alarm or install a smoke alarm with a "hush" button feature that will temporarily silence the alarm. 

It is the responsibility of homeowners to install and maintain their smoke alarms - and of landlords to ensure that their rental properties comply with the law. Tenants who do not have the required number of smoke alarms should contact their landlord immediately.

More smoke alarm information is available at

March Break, March Safe Campaign starting March 14, 2011

This campaign announcement was extracted from a Toronto Police Service, News Release,

The Toronto Police Service will conduct an annual “March Break, March Safe Campaign” during the week of Monday, March 14, 2011, to Sunday, March 20, 2011.

The “March Break, March Safe Campaign” is designed to promote education, awareness and enforcement strategies intended to heighten public awareness of pedestrian safety.

The need to be aware and alert at all times on any road, and even in the most routine circumstances, is a key component to moving safely through traffic. This applies to pedestrians, drivers, cyclist, and transit users alike.

Road and sidewalk surfaces can be challenging to negotiate in the winter months. We ask those who do drive, to take extra care on the roads and in parking lots, especially in areas where children and seniors might be present.

Pedestrians and Transit Users:

Parents and caregivers can reinforce pedestrian safety messages to children, as well as some of our more vulnerable seniors.
  • stop, look, and listen, before entering the roadway or boarding transit vehicles
  • utilize crossing at intersections and crosswalks
  • make eye contact with drivers and other road users
  • wear appropriate footwear to reduce the chances of slipping
  • never run into the street
  • wear reflective or bright clothing when possible
  • obey crossing signals and signs. 

General driving tips:
  • a driver who is aware and alert can avoid potential hazards, mistakes and other distractions
  • scan the traffic conditions ahead so you have more time to react
  • identify vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists entering the road from curbs and driveways or when approaching intersections. Be ready for the unexpected
  • check your blind spots before signaling and a second time before lane changing, turning, or merging
  • know what is around and behind you. Use rear−view and outside mirrors often and frequently check your speed
  • leave a large enough space between you and the vehicles ahead
  • When you are driving on any road, especially in bad weather, leave at least 3 seconds following distance between you and the vehicle ahead
  • in fog, rain, snow or darkness, use your full headlight system.Remember, when conditions require you to use your windshield wipers, you should turn on your headlights as well
  • to avoid backing, pull straight through two stalls (where available) so you are parked with the nose of your vehicle facing out
  • drive in the travel lanes only
  • avoid driving across parking spaces. 

During the campaign, all road users will be subject to various education and enforcement initiatives. Let's all work together to make the rest of the winter season safe and enjoyable.

Traffic Services is dedicated to ensuring the safe and orderly movement of traffic within the City of Toronto. Stay informed with what’s happening at: Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, Facebook Group and on Blog

Constable Tony Vella,
Corporate Communications,
for Constable Hugh Smith, Traffic Services

Thursday, March 10, 2011

911 Translated

The following 911 information was extracted from, 

Select your language below to find out about 911

Live Streaming White House Conference on Bullying Prevention, United States

If you are a Facebook user and are also interested in listening to today's (Thursday, March 10, 2001) live U.S. White House Conference on Bullying Prevention, RSVP here:

See the following for information on time and location (links).

10 March, 2011 · 12:00 pm - 13:00 pm
Created by:
More info
Join a live conversation from the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention about how we can all work together to make the Internet safer and promote a culture of shared responsibility and of strong digital citizenship. (Actual Start Time: 12:20 p.m. ET)


• Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan: Joe, a former federal prosecutor and founding member of the Justice Department's Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Units, oversees safety and security for Facebook's more than 500 million active users.

• Melody Barnes: Melody is the President’s Domestic Policy Advisor and the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House.

• Stephanie Cutter: Stephanie is Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor at the White House. She advises the President on overall strategy, including messaging and communications.

• Rosalind Wiseman: Rosalind is an internationally recognized expert on teens, parenting and bullying. Her book Queen Bees and Wannabes, was the basis for the movie Mean Girls, and her follow-up book, Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads, addresses the social hierarchies and conflicts among parents.

• MTV Vice President of Public Affairs Jason Rzepka: Jason is responsible for marshaling the network’s forces to engage and activate America’s youth on the biggest challenges facing their generation.

The show will be moderated by Kalpen Modi, Associate Director for the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Watch and ask questions of our panelists at 12:20 p.m. ET on March 10 from any of the following pages:

Ask questions in advance by commenting on the wall of this event or emailing

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In an emergency call 9-1-1

The following information was extracted from the City of Toronto's website:

Seconds count in an emergency! When police, fire, or medical emergencies occur, call 9-1-1. Trained emergency call takers will provide you with the information and assistance you need.

If you do not speak English, stay on the line while the call taker contacts our Telephone Translation Service. Call takers have access to interpreters in more than 150 languages, 24 hours a day. People needing assistance should not hesitate to call 9-1-1 for help

When should you call 9-1-1?

Call 9-1-1 during any emergency where people or property are at risk.

What you should know when dialing 9-1-1

  • Home: dial 9-1-1
  • Business/other locations: may need an outside line before dialing 9-1-1
  • Pay Phone: dial 9-1-1, it is free
  • Cellular Phone: dial 9-1-1 and be prepared to give the exact location of the emergency, it is free
  • TTY (Telephone Device for the Deaf): Press the spacebar announcer key repeatedly until a response is received.

Help 9-1-1 help you

Help the call taker and: 
  • remain calm
  • speak clearly, and
  • Identify which emergency service you require (police, fire, or ambulance)
 Be prepared with the following information:
  • a description of what is happening
  • the location, and
  • your name, address and telephone number

Remain on the line to provide additional information if requested to do so by the call taker.

Remember to have your house numbers visible from the street. This will assist emergency personnel in finding you as quickly as possible.

Toronto Police Service, TPSLinks Alert, March 8, 2011

The Toronto Police, 22 Division, would like to make the public aware of a potential sex offender.

Monday, March 7, 2011 between 12:40 pm to 1:00 pm, Police responded to a call regarding a suspicious male in a grey pickup truck near a church in the Renforth Drive and Rathburn Road area.  It is reported that a male, after parking, rolled down his driver’s side window and began watching kids as they played on a snow hill directly beside the truck.  A teacher from the school noticed the suspicious male staring at the students. She then started blowing the whistle to draw the children away from the suspicious male. The male then quickly rolled up his window and drove away immediately.

Description: Male, white, 40 years, dark eyes, beard and bald. Vehicle:       Grey pickup truck, license plate unknown.

Everyone is being asked to report any suspicious activity to Police, especially around schoolyards.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-2204.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Payday Loans

The following advice comes from The Ministry of Consumer Services,
See the "Know Your Rights, Payday Loans" video,

Gym Memberships

The following advice comes from The Ministry of Consumer Services,
See the "Know Your Rights, Gym Memberships" video,

Energy Contracts

The following advice comes from The Ministry of Consumer Services,
See the "The Experts Speak, Energy Contracts" video, by Pat Foran, Consumer Reporter, CFTO News

Reporting Graffiti

To report in progress Graffiti, call 911
To eliminate graffiti in your area, call 311

Also see:

TPS Bicycle Registry

This information was extracted from the Toronto Police Services website:

Bicycle theft is a crime that causes financial loss and inconvenience in every community.

Bicycle theft can be reduced with adequate security and investment in effective equipment.

Protect Your Bicycle
  • Register your bicycle with the police
  • Use a good quality-locking device such as a hardened steel "U" shaped lock, or a hardened steel chain and padlock
  • Lock your bicycle and both wheels to an immovable object, which cannot be easily cut or broken, and
  • To prevent loss, accessories such as lights and bags, etc. should be detached and taken with you when the bicycle is left unattended.
Weak, inexpensive locks will not deter a proficient thief. It is pointless to save money by using a cheaply made lock, only to lose an expensive bicycle.

Bicycle Identification

Manufacturers mark most bicycles with a serial number. If yours does not have a serial number, engrave an identifying number on the frame. You may wish to put the same number on the wheels and other components.

Register your bicycle with the TPS Bike Registry Database

  1. Fill out the online information form and add your bicycle to the Toronto Police Service Bike Registry Database.  Here is the link:
  2. If you are unable to complete the form online, please download the Bicycle Registration Pamphlet and take it to your nearest police station or mail it to:
Toronto Police Service Headquarters
40 College St.
Toronto, ON M5G 2J3

Here is the link to the pamphlet:

Stolen Bicycles

If you have the serial number you can determine whether a bicycle was stolen using the following website:

If your bike was stolen

If your bike has been stolen, report it to the police immediately.If you are in Toronto, go to your local police station or call 416-808-2222. Only the Police can flag your bike as stolen in the CPIC database.

If you found a stolen bike

If you come across a bike that is reported as stolen, do not buy the bike! Tell the seller you're not interested in the bike, and report some information about the bike and a description of the seller to the Police:

Submit tips anonymously:

-SMS anonymous tips by typing TOR plus your tip to CRIMES (274637)
-Call and report anonymous tips to 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

If you have a stolen bike

If you are in the possession of a stolen bike, you can return it to any Police station and they will return it to the owner.

Protect Yourself

Before riding your bicycle, take steps to protect yourself from injury.
  • Wear an approved bicycle safety helmet.
  • Use proper lights and reflectors.
  • Follow all road safety rules.
Take care

Monday, March 7, 2011

Toronto Police Service offers opportunity for community input with online polling

The following is March 7, 2011 New Release from,

To expand the opportunities for community input, the Toronto Police Service includes online polling on its website at

Every three weeks, questions are posted on various policing issues and the results published at the end of the period. Results from previous polls are also available.

A new poll began Monday, March 7, 2011, asking the following questions:
  •    Do you regularly visit online media sites, blogs, networking sites (e.g. Facebook), etc.?
  •    If 'yes', do you: read articles, postings, etc., indicate likes or dislikes, share the articles, postings, etc. with friends, add your comments to articles, postings, make your own posting, etc.?
  •    Do you regularly visit the Toronto Police Service's (TPS) Facebook or Twitter?
  •    If 'yes', have you: posted on the TPS Facebook site, commented on the TPS Facebook site, 'liked' something on the TPS Facebook site, followed the TPS on Twitter, tweeted the TPS?

The TPS is encouraging the people of Toronto to visit the "Have Your Say" section on the TPS website, and provide the Service with their opinions. 

Constable Tony Vella, Corporate Communications, for 
Carrol Whynot, Corporate Planning

Updated Crime Maps from February 7, 2011 to March 6, 2011

The Crime Maps have been updated from February 7, 2011 to March 6, 2011.

  1. Open the map using the link below, 
  2. Use the drop down list to select your areas of interest, e.g. "18" for New Toronto or click the area on the map directly.

17, Mimico
18, New Toronto
19, Long Branch
20, Alderwood

Take care

Break and enters shatter more than glass

Police services across Ontario are calling on the government to provide officers with the tools they need to reunite victims of break-and-enters with their stolen property, which often winds up in pawn shops, second-hand goods stores and flea markets.

At a recent press conference, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) released details on their 2011 Crime Prevention Campaign, which said police leaders are renewing their call to the provincial government to update the century-old Pawnbrokers Act.
“We have been calling on successive provincial governments to update the hopelessly outdated Pawnbrokers Act so that our officers could do what law-abiding citizens want us to do when they respond to break and enters and that is investigate the crime, use modern investigative tools to locate stolen property and reconnect victims with that property,” said Deputy Chief Kim Derry, chair of the OACP Crime Prevention Committee.
The campaign’s theme, titled – Break and Enter – It Shatters More than Glass – provides all police services across the province with public education materials which they can use to educate people and businesses on ways to avoid being victimized. The 24-page booklet includes crime-prevention tips related to break-and-enters, property and identity crime, fraud and auto theft.
“We also aim to reduce victimization overall by introducing crime prevention initiatives such as this, as well as addressing social design and root causes,” Derry said, noting this year’s theme is very apropos.
“I say that because when a person’s home or business is entered illegally or personal property or identity is stolen, the victim suffers material as well as personal loss,” he pointed out.
“Many feel anger, fear, guilt, anxiety and sadness at this personal violation. We need to do all we can to help those victims return to a normal life as quickly as possible.”
This year’s program involves partners from Reilly Security, TitlePLUS/LawPRO, Accident Support Services International Ltd., VIA Rail, Canpar Transport, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.
Gina Antonacci, the dean of Humber’s School of Social and Community Services, said break and enter is a misunderstood crime.
“Not only do you raise awareness which ultimately leads to changes in behaviour, but the other thing that you do is get out the message that we can empower ourselves and that it’s not just about you being random victims. There are things that we can do to lessen our chances of being victims and that’s a very powerful message.”
There were 12,362 break-and-enters in Toronto in 2009 compared with 12,932 the year before.
Take care

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Reminder: Domestic Violence Seminar, Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Community Police Liaison Committee (C.P.L.C.), 22 Division, are hosting a Domestic Violence Seminar in partnership with 22 Divsion officers.

When:  Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Time:    7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Toronto Police College, 70 Birmingham Street.

Guests include Superintendent Paul Gottschalk, Unit Commander from 22 Division, officers with extensive experience involving crimes of Domestic Violence, including members from the Crown Attorney's Office and Community Partner Agencies.

Let us talk about domestic violence prevention and stop the cycle of domestic violence.

Business Security and Graffiti Workshop, April 16, 2011

Toronto Police Service, 22 Division are hosting a Business Security and Graffiti Workshop. This seminar is being presented by Toronto Police Services, 22 Division and community partners.

When:  Saturday, April 16, 2011
Time:    8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Where: Toronto Police College, 70 Birmingham Street
Further Information: Contact PC Mitch LeBlanc, 416-808-2208 or

Crime Prevention Tip of the Month: Break, Enter and Theft Prevention

The following tips were extracted from the Toronto Police Service, Division 22, March Bulletin,

Almost everyone has an opinion on trends in break-and-enters, on why they occur or how to prevent them. Here are some facts regarding a few myths about break-ins.

Myth: Most residential break-ins happen at night.

NO, most residential break-ins actually happened during the day, when the majority of people are not home.

Myth: An alarm system is all that I need to protect my home and family.

Unfortunately, this is not the view shared by the average thief and you still may be at risk.

Residential alarms do indeed offer an increased level of security and some deterrence to criminals. However, alarms should not be considered as exclusive replacements for other home/business security measures, but used in conjunction with them. Example: An exterior mounted alarm with flashing strobe light could be used. This would alert your neighbours and have your neighbours as potential witnesses.

Myth: Most break-ins occur through a back door or window of the residence.

NO, the majority of break-ins occur through the FRONT DOOR or through a FRONT WINDOW. It is then very important to have properly secured windows and doors, the weakest points of home and business security.

Most windows can be pinned for additional security or with self-tapping screws in the upper track to prevent windows from being removed. Locks should have no plastic parts in the locking mechanism.

Some Helpful Hints:

·      Do not allow strangers in the building lobby.
·      When on vacation, do not inform everyone on the social network. Inform only a trusted neighbour.
·      Cancel all deliveries, including the daily paper.
·      Use timers to activate lights/radios at different intervals.
·      Ensure all doors and windows are secured.
·      Be a good neighbour and report any suspicious activity to police.

PC Michel LeBlanc
22 Division, Crime Prevention