'This is absurd': Toronto police draw immense backlash over horse patrolling TTC amid surge in violence
Worried you may be unsafe on the TTC? A Toronto police horse is apparently nearby.
Torontonians continue to be in disbelief over how poorly the city is responding to a spike in violence that's impacted its public transit system.
There have been numerous attacks in recent months on the TTC, toward both civilians and employees. As a result, Toronto Mayor John Tory on Thursday announced an increase in police presence to patrol the transit system.
Apparently, that comes in the form of a horse.
This is absurd. Sending a police horse to a subway station is an unserious response to a serious issue. We must finally address the root causes of violence in our city along with providing professionals with expertise in identifying & deescalating potentially violent individuals. https://t.co/vJBQ76e6F4
— Josh Matlow (@JoshMatlow) January 26, 2023
There are many things wrong with this image. But before we get to that, to make matters even worse, Torontonians are also calling out how this photo misrepresents the police force's current actions.
A day earlier on Wednesday, the city was met with its biggest snow storm of the year — which basically shut down the TTC. But if you look at the image, there doesn't seem to be any snow.
A Toronto Police Services media relations officer, Caroline de Kloet, told Yahoo Canada that the photo was in fact taken Monday.
"Due to the increased violence, patrols have been paying special attention to transit properties, including station entrances and TTC street car and bus stops," said de Kloet.
Your tweet clearly implies action taken today, in response to the day’s news. The picture was clearly not taken the day after a snowstorm.
Using public-funded comms to lie to the public. https://t.co/KLgQ44N7WQ pic.twitter.com/7oa0KkqhKA
— Gil Meslin (@g_meslin) January 27, 2023
The tweet from the Toronto Police Mounted Unit comes amid outrage over Tory's initial move to increase police funding. Many feel that it doesn't address the real problems plaguing this city, which have contributed to the violence, such as a lack of resources for community and social support systems, to go along with the TTC's subpar service.
In response to Josh Matlow's tweet, the Toronto Police Association defended the horse:
Our Mounted Unit provides a deterrent for criminal activity and, as we’ve heard first hand, our officers provide a sense of security for TTC riders. We’ll continue to do our part to keep our city safe and we would welcome the expertise of others. @TPSMounted
— Toronto Police Association (@TPAca) January 27, 2023
The Toronto Police Association, which represents approximately 8,000 civilian and uniform members, might want to read the room:
How are you getting the horse into the train?
— Duane Rollins 🇺🇦 (@24thminute) January 26, 2023
This horse cop is the perfect solution to crime on public transit. Unless the crime is down any stairs, or up any stairs, or through any tight area or in any transit vehicle. But if you wanna do a crime on that brief flat stretch of sidewalk outside the station? THINK AGAIN, pal https://t.co/6zdYbIqzF5
— ℳatt (@matttomic) January 27, 2023
Cut the @TPSMounted unit. Cut the comms staff who made this idiotic, useless tweet. Provide care and housing for those who need it. https://t.co/tQ4BxCJLVZ
— Alex Bozikovic (@alexbozikovic) January 27, 2023
it’s the anti-homeless architecture for me
(cop on a horse a close second though) https://t.co/52SHMFdlPi pic.twitter.com/x4ZC2dOA9B
— JNH (@jnhatcher) January 27, 2023
very useful in case a carriage robbery or a saloon gunfight breaks out at the subway stop. get a real job.
— john (@johnsemley3000) January 27, 2023
I don’t think a dressage routine will solve this crisis, what an insulting waste of resources
— Niko Stratis (@nikostratis) January 27, 2023
How is this real? People getting stabbed on the bus and a guy on a horse is going to stop it?? How much does it cost to shelter and care for that horse? When’s the last time a horse cop did something useful?
— Cory (@coryr__) January 27, 2023
Is this a fucking sit-com? What people have had enough of is legislated poverty & the defunding of social services. Society is breaking down. The only way to fix it is to create policy that guarantees a basic quality of life to each person. Not a police horsie. #Toronto https://t.co/igUPD0D2K5
— April Cruel (@April75Cruel) January 27, 2023
I won't feel safe until they have a horse on every bus https://t.co/0sv6S4mxzG
— Creedence Gielgud Revival (@perhapsthebees) January 27, 2023