Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS)
Public safety and the safety of communities are one of the most important areas of focus for the police, which is why I chose to do my policing paper on the crime prevention program known as TAVIS. TAVIS stands for Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy and was created on January 5th, 2006 which included 3 new rapid response teams with 18 officers on each team. The idea was that the teams could be released instantly if any gang or gun violence was reported. A total of an additional 72 officers were formed into these teams and are strategically placed throughout Toronto in the most gun violence or gang oriented areas to prevent crimes from occurring. Throughout the summer months the teams are placed in specific locations for lengthy periods at a time to cut down on the criminal activity. The declared objective for TAVIS is “The Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy is an intensive, violence reduction and community mobilization strategy intended to reduce crime and increase safety in our neighbourhoods”.1 TAVIS addresses the problem of high levels of criminal activity for such small neighbourhoods or communities in Toronto. For instance, the neighbourhoods of Keele and Eglinton and Jane-Finch area received more TAVIS officers during the summer months due to the high levels of crime in the areas for them being such small neighbourhoods. TAVIS has 3 main parts to the program. Those parts consist of 1. Additional Toronto Police Service officers are assigned to areas experiencing an increase in violent activity, 2. Once the neighbourhood is safe, ‘maintenance-level’ enforcement continues with increased police/city/community member collaboration, and 3. ‘Normalized’ policing provided as support to an empowered community.2 A main goal for TAVIS is to become more engaged in the community and the members belonging to it. Just because a community is labeled as a high criminal activity area or high gang area does not mean that there aren’t any good people left there and the TAVIS officers are responsible for finding the origin of the crime that’s being committed and restore the communities to the same stature of the less crime areas of Toronto. The success of the TAVIS program comes from the relations built with the struggling communities not necessarily the number of arrests reported. The TAVIS officers want to build a higher level of trust and communication with these communities that struggle with the violence that surrounds them. Another goal of the TAVIS program is to excel in community mobilization. Community mobilization means one community, the police and the residents of the community coming together to improve the place they live by putting a stop to crime. Crime can’t just be prevented by the police alone and it surely can’t be prevented by the community alone. Both of them need to work together to put a stop to the high levels of crime occurring in the community and community mobilization is the number one key to the success of it. When the TAVIS officers are deployed into a community they embrace the people who belong to it and make them feel safe and give back to the community. During the day they take part in reaching out and getting involved with the community through various ways and when the nighttime comes they are out in full force patrolling the community, stopping and questioning anybody who either looks suspicious or just may be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Moreover, the program has grounds to be a successful tactic used to diminish crime everywhere and make the people of Toronto feel safe again. Program Performance
The Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy doesn’t measure their success by the number of arrests made but by the reduction of crime and community relations. To get a better understanding on how successful...
References: Nighttime police patrols spur tension in Jamestown. (2012, October 10). CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/10/10/toronto-tavis-jamestown-police342.html
Toronto Police Service. Retrieved November 21st, 2012 from http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/tavis/
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