Toronto Police Marine Unit has been a support unit within the
Toronto Police Service since its amalgamation with the Toronto
Harbour Police in October 1982. The Harbour Police had its origins
in the nineteenth century when it was known as the Lifesaving
and Police Patrol.
The Unit operates
365 days a year - 24 hours a day and is responsible for a 460
square mile patrol area (that's twice the size of the city of
Toronto). In addition to policing and providing emergency service
to the Toronto Island community, the unit is also responsible
for all calls relating to water; i.e. rivers, creeks and ponds
within the city boundaries.
The unit is
responsible for all search and rescue operations in the Toronto
area; ice rescues, river rescues, underwater search and recovery
and enforcement of all laws relating to boating.
Marine Unit is comprised of one Staff Inspector, one Staff Sergeant,
seven Sergeants, thirty seven Constables, three civilian Crewhands
and five Mechanics.
to this specialized staff, the Marine Unit has strengthened its
commitment to the community by developing a partnership with the
Toronto Ambulance Service. Paramedics now work alongside the police
crew on the first response boats. This innovation is a first in
Unit's fleet consists of a large scale rescue boat, four regular
patrol boats, two medium size fast response boats and an airboat
used for operating over ice.
Unit responded to 1,556 recorded calls for assistance from boaters
throughout 1999. Assisting capsized sailors, helping boaters in
trouble and attending medical emergencies on both land and water
are all in a day's work.
Marine Unit plays a vital role in community policing. Over two
thousand recorded visitors and dignitaries attended the Marine
Unit last year. The unit employs and trains 76 part-time lifeguards
who patrol Toronto area beaches during the summer. In addition,
the unit has developed a water wise education program for all
city schools in close proximity to Toronto's many bodies of water.
With a hundred
and fifty years of experience behind it, the Toronto Police Marine
Unit is well equipped to "Serve and Protect" our community as
we enter the new millennium.