The recent announcement by Toronto Police confirming the murders of two men from the city's gay village has shaken and deeply disturbed many members of our own LGBTQ community.
We have heard from many of our friends and from our local organizations, who have expressed their deep concerns, anxieties and fears over this new development. This visceral reaction is understandable, given the fact that several other men with ties to the village have gone missing over the past few years.
I understand the close connection between Durham Region citizens and Toronto's gay village, as it is a hub of activity for LGBTQ members from across the GTA. Many of our citizens attend the village to participate in and support community functions and special events, including the annual Pride parade.
I want to send a strong message that I recognize and acknowledge your concerns and that my police service stands with you in this time of fear and uncertainty. The targeting of any part of our community is unacceptable to us and we urge anyone in Durham Region with information that may assist Toronto investigators to come forward. If you have any information that might help - no matter how small you think that information is - please call them at 416-808-2021.
We can help you and support you along the way. Our liaison for local LGBTQ concerns is Insp. Cathy Bawden, who can be reached at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 4316.
--Chief Paul Martin
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