Constable Caroline de Kloet: Good morning and thank you for attending
Police Headquarters. My name is Constable Caroline de Kloet and I’m here today to
introduce Chief Mark Saunders who will present a check to victim services Toronto. Chief Mark Saunders: Thank you very much and thank you everybody for being here and this is
one of those occasions that I’ve got to say I love doing and Victim Services is
something that’s near and dear to my heart not just because it’s important in
the value that it does add when it comes to community safety when it comes to
healing and helping but also from an operational perspective when we talk
about law enforcement and we talk about solutions that it takes to help bring
complete resolve or as much resolve as possible. The importance of the role that
Victim Services plays is second to none and I’ve experienced it firsthand.
So the Chief’s Gala as everybody knows that we are it is one of the agencies
that is near and dear to my heart and so we always do our very best to support at
any opportunity that we can and in this occasion this Chief’s Gala was a
phenomenal I mean phenomenal year and I’m so proud of the committee the
honorary chairs everybody that helped put this thing together
for such a great cause. People don’t understand that you know we have over
20,000 cases a year in this city of people who may be watching the news
right now that have no idea that they’re going to become a victim and we already
know that one of the key ingredients to moving things in the right direction is
that intervention piece as soon as possible and Victim Services who are not
assigned to the Toronto Police Service they’re separate and distinct and they
will help anybody at any time if you need help that doesn’t have to be a
charge of any kind or any criminality with respect to police investigation.
They are there 24 hours a day seven days a week
no Christmases for them and the work is phenomenal but this year as I was saying
is so phenomenal the biggest and best ever.
We raised well I’m not going to say how much you raise because that presentation
is going to present itself but we had over 1200 people that attended and it
speaks to the City of Toronto. It speaks to the GTA, the type of people that we
have that understand coming forward and and
thank you to the Hyung family for playing an intricate part. You’re an
amazing amazing keynote speaker you know age has nothing to do it’s speaking
from the heart and really truly showing the value of what can happen when you
have the right pieces in place during some horrific situations. The special
thanks goes out to a lot of the the platinum sponsors unifor we played a
critical role diamond and diamond and a whole host of other people that were
intricate to it thank you for being here and for your continued support. Next year
hopefully it’s going to be bigger and better. Brian Minez who’s an expert at
this has really showcased what it takes to put something together so personal
thanks to you Bryan and as we look forward to next year I’m
really looking forward to the opportunity of working with the
community of looking at what we need to do to continue to make this city that
the greatest and best city to be and when it comes to looking after one
another especially in those darkest moments if
we’re going to be getting this right. So without further ado I would like to
introduce someone that I’ve known for quite a while who I think is a champion
and a hero Miss Bonnie Levine who keeps the Victim Services where they need to
be and also is also a strong advocate and also a strong supporter of and an
excellent leader when it comes to this particular type of work. Go ahead Bonnie Bonnie Levine:
First of all Chief I want to thank you because without your incredible
leadership without your support none of this none of it would be possible and we
couldn’t continue without you you’ve been incredible to us. We’re very
grateful and thank you thank you so much I also want to acknowledge Eric Hung who
really was very brave and and vulnerable and sharing his story very articulate
you did a great job and we’re very grateful to you for for sharing your
story and doing it so eloquently to more than 1,200 people. I also want to thank
our gala sponsors our donors are our guests of course I want to mention the
Gala co-chairs Brian Moniz, Paula Silver and Sandra Zisckind.
I want to thank the Chief’s Gala planning committee and all the staff and
the volunteers who made the event possible. Victim Services Toronto is an
independent registered charity mandated to assist victims in the immediate
aftermath of crime and tragedy. We are the fourth of the first responders. We’re
there to provide immediate emotional support address practical issues assess
longer-term needs and help people get to where they need to go for long term
support. Our crisis counselors work on scene with police to ensure that victims
have immediate access to emotional support and practical assistance. In our
work we have a very unique up-close look at our police partners every day. We see
how hard they work and the toll their jobs
take on their lives and likewise Toronto Police Service has an up-close view of
Victim Services Toronto and the effects of our work on our crisis counselors and
volunteers. This past year has been one of extreme traumatization in Toronto. The
violence in the city has been like none other that we’ve experienced before.
We’ve had the van attack in North York the shooting on the Danforth, a serial
killer terrorizing the LGBTQ 2’s community, and all this is happening
while there is an unprecedented number of homicides and shootings. It’s a year
that many of us are still reeling from but in the midst of these horrifying
tragedies Victim Services Toronto has met so many unexpected heroes doing
incredible things for complete strangers, like wrapping the wounds of people who
are injured on the street or holding the hand of a stranger as
they take their last breath. We’ve met people who have become instant
caregivers of a neighbor’s child. There are everyday heroes, these are the
everyday heroes that inspire us and that give us hope. This hugely significant
contribution represents the heart and soul of Toronto. It’s everyday people and
their organizations being unexpected heroes for victims of crime and tragedy.
thank you again to everyone who was part of the Chiefs gala, for being our
inspiration, our everyday hero and our rainbow after the storm. Chief Mark Saunders: Any questions? For either of us? No you know what, let’s do this first. Let’s do this presentation first. So we’re all here. What we’re going to do is we’re
going to bring the cheque out to show exactly how much that the Victim
Services will be receiving as a result of the Gala and through the tremendous
contributions and and kindness from the committee’s that were part of it and
all sorts of the communities and agencies that contributed. So can I have
all of the people involved in the Gala up here with us so that we can take the
picture and Chair Pringle thank you for being here and if you could come into
picture as well – that would be great. We’re going to stand in front of the
podium take a picture then after that if there any questions we’ll be free to
answer those questions. We’re gonna go in front. Go right in front. Yeah you’re the tall guy. As a result of this years victim the Chief’s Gala Victim Services
contributions of a given six hundred and seventy four thousand four hundred
twenty thousand dollars and thirteen cents. A huge huge night very successful. Kevin Masterman: And very important you can see me see
your upside great and smiling of course. A whole lot of good work. let’s smile Keep smiling now. Thank you very much. Constable Caroline de Kloet: That concludes today’s… Chief Mark Saunders: Okay so now that
that formal part are there any questions with respect to the Gala. Reporter: Is there anything in the budget for Victim Services? Chief Mark Saunders: Bonnie can you speak to him please? Bonnie Levine: No, it’s a good
question it’s not. We do get the majority of our funding from the province, a small
portion from the city and the rest is usually about between 35 and 40 percent
from fundraising and donations. We have 50 employees we have about 24 full-time
equivalent employees we have 200 community volunteers a crisis team for
us is a paid crisis counselor and community volunteer and we work 24/7 365
days a year and all the 17 police divisions
referred to us in the immediate aftermath of crime and tragedy. Reporter: Having a year like we did last year where there were a couple you know really traumatic large scale events and a lot of murders in the city did that put an extra huge strain on your, what it is that Victim Service does? Bonnie Levine: Yeah that actually did put a huge strain on our resources. We had to mobilize extra teams
a large number of extra teams the phone calls that were coming in particularly
after the van attack really inundated us we were also on scene at the command
center. We had crisis teams stationed at the hospitals. It really did put a huge
strain on our organization. It’s still it’s still this same fiscal year for us
so this contribution actually helps us deal with those major events also the
the number of gun violence and other victims. It’s been a very very
challenging year for our organization of course for for the victims and their
families. Reporter: Chief on another subject are we ready? A report out
today Chief about the Danforth shooting that it’s a lone gunman acting on his
own and deranged man. Your thoughts on that? Chief Mark Saunders: Well you know it’s the
investigation itself is complete but I’m sure there are a lot more things that we
need to look after as a community as a society and also when we look at an
operational perspective the frontline people did an excellent job. The fact
that from from upon becoming aware it’s a three minutes and 30 seconds later. It
was dealt with you know 54/55 division did an excellent job with the response
piece and I think that that was a direct result of things not escalating to a
much larger much more horrific outcome. With respect to the investigation being
over I know that the public is interested and on a lot of things and a
lot of questions to be answered and we will put that forward so I I don’t have
a concern with that but I’m going to do it properly. Whether the one thing that I
want people to recognize is that there was loss of life and there were there
are a lot of people that were injured it had a huge impact on the whole city. I
have to speak with certain people that are directly involved in and our victims
of this. I certainly don’t want their first blush of finding out what we’re
going to talk about to be through the screen and so there a couple of things
that I want to look after first before I go out with anything else with regards
to that case. Reporter: Can you talk at all about where the gun might have come from? Chief Mark Saunders: Yeah you know what, I’m gonna speak more to the whole thing a little
later on and definitely it’s not I’m not being cautious I’m just being smart
about this and I’m not going to give it in bits and pieces I’ll give the whole
thing out at once so that there’s that opportunity for those questions to be
asked and we can answer them to the best of our ability. Reporter: What’s the best form to do that is? Is it a news conference or some other I can’t imagine what else it would be
but… Chief Mark Saunders: We’ll get to that I think the important messages that we will we’ll
have that discussion and and there are concerns and they’re community concerns
and and I certainly want to address that I think that that’s important. It was
something that was unique yet last year was a unique year and it kind of
dovetails to why we’re here and Victim Services and the importance of the role
that they play and it was critical under both those circumstances but I don’t
want to look at them as numbers but they were victims they’re people were hurt in
large numbers people still hurting from that. I don’t want to add to that hurt I
think it’s important that we kind of humanize things a little bit and figure
out as much as the public wants to know stuff I want to create the best platform
so I can minimize that particular piece as well. Reporter: Is this something you’re doing later today or down the road? Chief Mark Saunders: It’s gonna be down the road. I’ve
got a lot of things to do today Austin and so but yeah it’ll be down the road
and I want to do it right I’m not gonna rush it but we’ll do it right and we’ll
do it. I think that’s what’s important I think that’s what everybody is
interested in knowing. Reporter: Weeks? I don’t want to push you too hard on time Chief Mark Saunders: Then don’t. Reporter: I know you Chief Mark Saunders: I’m going to do it at the comfort of people that I think
are the priority. So I’ll leave it at that I think that’s the best answer to
it. Reporter: On another subject, Clinton Gayle is up for parole this spring summer It’s been 25 years. Your thoughts on the fact that he may have a chance of parole at this point. Chief Mark Saunders: Well I’m certainly not going to critique the judicial system. They have
their role to play but I will tell you law enforcement is something that is
getting more and more dangerous as we look at the numbers. I mean in North
America every three days we’re losing a member of law enforcement so when we ask
our men and women in uniform to go out there and protect the public when we ask
them to go down those dark lane ways at all risk just to help and do the right
thing there needs to be that guarantee that
there is that protection that is that armor when it comes to the what they’re
doing and so the deterrent factor if when a person kills a law enforcement or
corrections should be high should be significant and I think should be fully
supported by all levels of government because the heroes that we have on the
road need to know that there is something
that will help them to help deter people from having a mindset of putting our
people in harm’s way on any given day and it’s more important now than ever
before with the prevalence of gun play that we have in our city in Toronto and
right across North America. Reporter: So if I read from you’re saying life is life for somebody who takes a police
officer’s life? Chief Mark Saunders: Of course I’m going to be biased and when I’m asking the men and
women to do what they do anything that that creates an insurance policy to to
deter people from even remotely thinking about killing another law enforcement
officer is something that is critical to to the whole mechanism if law
enforcement of community safety and what we’re asking our people to do on a daily
basis. We good? Okay thank you everybody for being here and I look forward to
seeing everybody here at next year’s Chief Gala. That’s great. Constable Caroline de Kloet: That concludes today’s conference. Thank you for attending.