Guns, ammunition, a sword and drugs were seized by police during a search of Toronto Community Housing buildings Thursday, Feb. 21.
Conducted in response to community concern about the increase in violence in recent weeks, Project Walk-In was first launched in government housing buildings throughout North York’s 31 Division, before other TCH buildings in Scarborough, Etobicoke, York, East York, and downtown were also searched.
All areas searched were public areas, such as laundry rooms, and did not require search warrants.
The search in 31 Division netted two handguns, a replica handgun, a shotgun, 20 rounds of ammunition, a sword, and a quantity of drugs, police said, adding ammunition, drugs and other weapons were seized at locations throughout the city.
“We have a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with Toronto Community Housing, aimed at targeting those who have chosen violence,” 31 Division St. Sup. Tom Russell said in a release. “We have worked with TCH effectively, and we will continue to do so. We have had very good feedback as a result of Project Walk−In. This will continue to be an ongoing crime prevention strategy between the TPS and TCH.”
Items seized by police were on display for the media Monday, Feb. 25 at 31 Division, 40 Norfinch Dr.
Violence plaguing 31 Division was put front and centre Feb. 11 when St. Aubyn Rodney, 15, was shot dead inside his TCH apartment. A 17-year-old has been charged with manslaughter.
“It is troubling that by hiding weapons and drugs in such areas, people engaged in criminal activities have put the safety of all residents and staff at risk,” TCH spokesperson Sinead Canavan said in a release. “The combined city-wide efforts of the Toronto Police Service and Toronto Community Housing have made a good start in getting weapons out of our communities. We trust that future searches will bring similar results and lead to arrests. We all play a part in keeping communities safe. With witness information, Toronto police can seek arrests and Toronto Community Housing can pursue evictions of residents who commit crimes on our properties.”