Head of TCHC considers arming special constables

The president of Toronto Community Housing says he'd like to arm the special constables who patrol its neighbourhoods.

The president of Toronto Community Housing says he'd like to arm the special constables who patrol its neighbourhoods.

Gene Jones has asked residents and staff how to make their neighbourhoods safer in the wake of deadly shooting incidents across the city — and is considering giving his special constables weapons.

Toronto Community Housing head Gene Jones said he won't do anything without consulting with residents. (CBC)

"I wish my constables could have guns," Jones said in an interview with the National Post. "Because I think that is a deterrent for these criminals. [Now] if they pull out a gun, we’re naked."

Several people who talked to CBC News gave a tentative thumbs up to stun guns, but said firearms would be going too far.

At Alexandra Park, Kedira Mohamed said Tasers might deter people from acting up in the neighbourhood, where her parents and younger brother live. But she's not keen on real guns.

Neither are Ben Pearl and Nigel Krajcic, who wear bulletproof vests while walking the security beat for Toronto Community Housing.

"Tasers, me personally, I would be fine with," Pearl said. "But guns? That's what Toronto police is here for."

"It's just too big of a presence to have firearms for both police and security," Krajcic said. "It's just unnecessary."

Jones wasn't available for comment, but said in a statement that he'll consult with residents, the city, and Toronto Police before anything is rolled out officially.