"No Information For You," she said...
Okay, so the title of this is not a direct quote, but it certainly speaks to the gist of my trying to find out some information from the Toronto Police Service about recent crime in my neighbourhood.
Around 11 pm on July 18, 208, a man and woman were shot near Bloor Street West and Brunswick Avenue, outside of By The Way Café in Toronto's Annex. According to reports by CTV, CBC, and City, nobody died and no motive or suspects were apparent. I cannot find any further information.
On Saturday July 26, 2008, around 9:45 pm, a fire fighter was hosing down Walmer Road just north of Bloor Street, by the Walmer TTC entrance. When I asked him what had happened, he nonchalantly said. “Oh, we’re hosing blood off the street from a stabbing.” While this answered my question about how blood from crime got handled, he had no additional information for me. He was just the man with the hose.
With gun crime in the city rising, I can only infer that stabbings are less newsworthy.
The Annex is where I live, and I'm curious and engaged enough that I like to know what's going on. So I called Toronto Police Services and was told that the only information I can get is whatever might be released to the media. But if the media hasn’t reported on it, it seems like I should still be able find out what happens in my neighbourhood.
"Okay...if I were a part of The Media," I asked, "how would I find this out?" With a sigh, the non-emergency line officer told me I would have to call the PR Department. Which I have since done a few times, but they haven't yet answered the phone.
Thank you Now Public for allowing me to feel like part of the media and so more entitled to information than regular ol’ folk. I’ll keep you posted.