Weston’s finest on the news

One of Weston’s finest, PC Peter De Quintal, was on CTV News this week.

De Quintal, better known as Star Wars Cop, sung, danced, and took a Storm Trooper downtown for questioning.

Nnamdi Ogba: Homicide Squad make two arrests

Mayor John Tory listens on Friday March 23rd as Nnamdi Ogba’s parents plead for help in solving their son’s murder.

Two Toronto men were arrested in their homes today and have been charged with the murder of Nnamdi Ogba who was murdered in cold blood two weeks ago. At a press conference held on Thursday, March 29, Superinendent Ron Taverner and detective Jason Shankaran discussed the killing and the community response that led to the arrests.

Nnamdi Ogba

Taverner and Shankaran theorized that the two suspects were arrested so quickly thanks to a sense of outrage on the part of the community along with a highly motivated police force; the police acting quickly to bring the alleged killers of an entirely blameless man into custody. They stressed that Mr. Ogba was a hard working member of the community randomly targeted while visiting friends in Scarlettwood Court. Detective Shankaran told reporters, “You can always judge a person’s family by the people that they’re surrounded by”.  “And I knew I was dealing with a good man here”.

Police shift resources to 23 and 12 Divisions

At the press conference, Superintendent Taverner stated that extra police have been moved into the area to boost their visible presence in ‘troubled communities’ such as Scarlettwood so that residents can regain a sense of security in their neighbourhoods. Taverner declined to say how long the extra officers would be deployed but did say, “The public would be proud to know what the (Homicide) officers have done to bring this case before the courts”.

Congratulations to Toronto Police and also to the people who had the courage to come forward and help bring these alleged killers into custody.

Police are still seeking more information from associates of the two alleged suspects in their search for the driver of the getaway vehicle, a dark SUV.

  • Contact police at 416-808-7400
  • Crime Stoppers (anonymously) at 416-222-TIPS (8477)
  • Online: www.222tips.com
  • Text TOR and send message to CRIMES (274637).

UPDATE: On Friday March 30, according to the Toronto Star, police announced that the alleged driver had been arrested and was in custody.

RBC Bank robber arrested.

The word that the Weston and Lawrence RBC branch had been robbed twice within six days created anxiety in many people. The details of the robberies have been released and it transpires that it wasn’t an armed gang so much as a one-man mini crime wave. On March 2nd, a 30 year-old suspect allegedly saw an opportunity and attempted to grab money from a customer at an ATM. The 62 year-old customer was able to hold on to his or her money and the suspect then doubled down and allegedly went to a teller and threatened to shoot her if she did not hand over money. He allegedly fled with some cash but was not wearing a disguise.

The same person came back again on March 8th allegedly wearing sunglasses and a scarf and instead of going to a teller, made demands of the manager who complied.

The police gave no further details of the alleged suspect except that he was arrested later the same day of the second robbery and was due to appear in court last Friday.

Hats off to the brave people working at RBC in Weston. It’s got to be a horrible experience to be present during a robbery; not knowing the weaponry or state of mind of the robber(s). There are few other civilian jobs where this dangerous potential constantly looms in the background. Thankfully the police acted quickly and this man is off our streets.

One can only speculate what his alleged motivation (let alone history) was but a drug dependency might be one of his demons. Investing in more resources to directly tackle addiction and mental health is seen as more and more important as a prior intervention might have got this man some help and saved people a great deal of anxiety. Now, the courts and prison system will be his social worker, doctor and psychiatrist – at a much higher cost to all of us, and indeed to him. If he is convicted, many doors will close.

Points of interest.

  • Adult correctional services cost the people of Canada over $4.6 billion in 2015/16. We pay around $203 per day to keep someone in a provincial jail and $283 daily in a federal jail.
  • People aged between 25 and 34 are the biggest age group in jails.
  • Canada incarcerates about 115 people for every 100,000 of population; India, an astonishing 33 and the U.S. an equally astonishing 698.

Cops should be where they’re needed.

The Toronto Police report optimistically named, ‘The Way Forward‘ is running into flak from police union head Mike McCormack.  One of the suggestions in the report is to deploy officers in low crime areas to parts of the city where criminal behaviour is more prevalent. McCormack claims that after spending time to get to know a community, cops moved to other areas will be strangers. This apparently will negate all the good feelings engendered by community barbecues and the like.

Contrary to his new found love of community policing, McCormack was a fan of ‘carding‘. The practice of profiling, questioning and documenting people based on factors arbitrarily determined by an officer. Incredibly, while carding was abolished this year, data gathered in the past (some of it obtained illegally) has been retained. Carding did little to prevent crime but did much to alienate visible minorities. When I was young, many years ago I was profiled because of my youth, especially when driving. I can only imagine what it’s like to be young and black where profiling is practised.

Here in Weston it would be nice to see a few extra cops occasionally. Despite our fearsome reputation, we’re not a hotbed of crime. Although dealing drugs at 2 a.m. anywhere in the city is going to be bad for your health, the downtown waterfront is a far more dangerous place than Jane and Lawrence in the wee small hours.

The old saying goes that you can catch a lot more flies with honey than vinegar. Back in the 20th Century, police would be visible in neighbourhoods. They talked to people and patrolled where they were needed.

It’s just as well McCormack doesn’t have anything to do with fire services. The same way that it’s a good idea to put fire fighters where the fires are, let’s put cops where they’re needed, not where they’re comfortable.