TORONTO - In solidarity. In remembrance. In support.
And for a whole bunch of other reasons, Toronto Police officers Wednesday night will take part in a candlelight vigil at the provincial police memorial downtown.
“We are with the fallen officers and their families and peers 100%,” Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack said Tuesday.
In memory of the slain police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, as well as now in Kansas City, and in support of others who were wounded.
Right now police feel they have targets on their backs. There are about 16 police officers in the United States this month who have been shot and either killed or wounded.
This has got to stop.
“These incidents have touched our members and we want the other departments to know that we have their backs,” said McCormack, who attended the police funerals in Dallas.
“It’s sad and what is happening right now is on the mind of all of us,” he said. “You do worry about the members.”
Some of the people expected to be part of the vigil are families of Toronto’s own slain officers.
For security reasons, exact details of the gathering are being kept close to the vest.
“But it is a public event and one that’s important to let the men and women who serve their communities in the United States know they are thought of by their fellow officers in Canada,” McCormack said.
It’s a beautiful idea by Toronto Police officers as well as other area services, which are expected to participate.
There’s a lot of discussion, anger and consternation about the politics of policing but, other than actual criminals, I do not for one minute believe that the average person doesn’t support the men and women who wear the uniform.
When they need to be criticized or scrutinized, we certainly do that, but mostly police have a thankless job and do not receive enough appreciation for the difficult tasks they complete each day at great risk to themselves.
They do that for us.
The police are part of the community and who we call on when in need.
They are, given current circumstances, understandably concerned about the lack of support they are experiencing in some places, as well as for their safety.
We need to remember to thank these men and women.
People can raise concerns about police salaries or carding or approaches to mental health, but at the end of the day, these men and women are the thin blue line between our freedom and safety and all hell breaking loose.
If what’s happened down in the United States does not drive that point home, nothing ever well.
Toronto’s police will make that point themselves in an emotional vigil Wednesday at 8 p.m. carrying candles near Queen’s Park.