By The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Some Canadian police forces say they are increasing patrols in response to the Israel-Hamas war while offering assurances that they have not received any credible threats.
Toronto police Chief Myron Demkiw said Thursday there have been no specific credible threats locally, but the war has shaken the feelings of peace and security in the city.
He said police divisions have been directed to “ensure a high visibility presence,” and increased patrols announced earlier this week have now been expanded to include cultural centres, synagogues, mosques, schools and other places of worship.
Police in other cities announced similar steps.
Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Dominic Leblanc said he’s in regular contact with the RCMP and stands with Jewish communities across the country who are feeling vulnerable “ahead of the Hamas-led call for mobilization around the world.”
Hundreds of people have been killed after Hamas carried out deadly weekend attacks in Israel.
Israel has responded with airstrikes bombarding Gaza, the sealed-off Palestinian territory ruled by the militant group.
Acting Ottawa police Chief Paul Burnett said there are no credible local threats in that city, but the force has increased patrols around areas of significance and is “actively engaged” with local Jewish and Palestinian communities to hear and address their concerns.
Police in Winnipeg and Vancouver both issued statements saying residents can expect to see increased patrols around cultural centres and places of worship in response to the attacks against Israel and escalation of violence in the Middle East.
Calgary police said it has proactively increased patrols near places of worship and “other areas of significance.”
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police said in a statement Wednesday that police services are vigilant in supporting Jewish communities, “as they gather to mourn the tremendous loss of family and friends in Israel.”
WPS is aware of the impact that world events are having on our local communities. As a result, police presence will be increased at places of worship, schools, mosques, and synagogues which have been affected by the Middle East conflict. https://t.co/cE8rWp9ZWd
— Winnipeg Police (@wpgpolice) October 12, 2023