Toronto has recently faced increasing levels of gun violence. Critics have also argued that the character of gun violence has changed, including daytime shootings in highly public locations. Many have attributed this recent spike to changes in police carding practices and the cancellation of the TAVIS policing strategy. Conversely, contributing to a growing climate of violence many argue is the lack of substantial and ongoing funding to improve the life outcomes of at-promise youth.
While the City of Toronto and the Provincial government have announced funding to combat gun and gang violence, a majority will go towards policing. A recent $30-million budget increase for the Toronto Police Service will go towards the hiring of 300 new officers.
This presentation will discuss gun and gang violence in Toronto, the associated policy responses, and current debates around policing in our city.
Julius Haag is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto.
His research interests include policing, racial profiling, youth in conflict with the law, program design and evaluation and systemic racism in the Canadian criminal justice system. He has spoken extensively on Canadian issues related to police misconduct, racial profiling, police ‘carding’ and stop-and-frisk activities.
His ongoing dissertation research examines the impact of police-citizen encounters on racialized and marginalized youth in the Toronto. Julius has previously worked as a youth outreach worker and program evaluation consultant for the San Romanoway Revitalization Association in Toronto’s Jane-Finch community and in an advisory role for other community organizations throughout the Greater Toronto Area, with a focus on issues facing Black youth.