In order to strengthen ties between the faith community, the police, and the community as a whole, police officers joined faith leaders in community Prayer Walks.
On May 31, there were walks in Malvern, Regent Park, and Flemingdon Park.
In Flemingdon, faith leaders were joined by Acting Chief Rob Johnson of the Toronto Police Service, Superintendent Kim O’Toole, and 55 Division Neighborhood Community Officers (NCOs).
The event was put on by the Canadian Black Clergies & Allies (CBCA), which was led by Pastor Wendell Gibbs.
Deputy Chief Johnson stated, “We are here to support the CBCA and also demonstrate to the community that we are aligned with the pastors to do whatever is possible to connect with the community in different ways than we have traditionally done in the past.”
In 2020, following the murder of Minnesotan George Floyd, the CBCA was established.
According to TPS Chaplain Gibbs, “We are attempting to demonstrate that the faith community and law enforcement are building bridges of healing and reconciliation against the angst of racism and divide that is afflicting communities.” We are working to reduce tensions and demonstrate to communities that we care about them, despite the fact that we are aware that there are difficulties on both sides.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance’s Reverend Curtis Peters participated in the Prayer Walk.
He stated, “We want to demonstrate our support for the police and the excellent work they are doing to serve and protect.” Everywhere we go, we want the church to be a blessing.
The leaders of the church and the police talked to the residents of Flemingdon Park during the walk and discussed their own partnership.
Gibbs made the following remark: “In a larger context, the aim is to get the faith community and police divisions in their community to have greater partnerships and relationships.”
The CBCA Prayer Breakfast in Scarborough was organized by Gibbs and Johnson in February.