Two weeks after Toronto was shaken by the largest mass shooting in its history, Police Chief Bill Blair sees the gang violence at its root not as one neighbourhood’s problem but a social issue that demands solutions from Toronto’s business and community leaders.
wide-ranging interview with The Globe and Mail Tuesday, Chief Blair said
police keep track of people involved in or associated with gangs –
roughly 2,100 – and of those about 500 or 600 are considered “really
The long-term solution, he said, involves preventing these mostly
young men from so-called priority neighbourhoods from going down this
road by interceding in their lives when they are much younger. That
involves continuing to provide opportunities, including employment, but
first requires learning “more about these kids and find out where we
“By the time you go, with a 14- or 15-year-old, and
try to get them into a program and play basketball, some of these young
guys are so completely lost to us that they represent such a significant
danger, all we can do is protect everyone from them,” Chief Blair said.