Paul Rinkoff, Toronto police’s top Jewish community engagement commander, has had his hands full since Oct. 7

Insp. Paul Rinkoff, Toronto Police
Inspector Paul Rinkoff, of the Toronto Police Service, outside the Community Command Post stationed in the heavily Jewish neighbourhood at Bathurst and Sheppard Ave. W. on Jan. 30, 2024. (Ellin Bessner photo)

Before Oct. 7, 2023, Paul Rinkoff was known to Jewish community leaders for his low-key diplomatic approach to establishing good relationships with the Toronto police. But since the Hamas attack on Israel, Rinkoff has been thrust into a very public spotlight as the force’s highest-profile Jewish officer, in charge of community partnerships and engagement.

While Rinkoff also oversees police outreach to Toronto’s other ethnic and racialized groups, including Palestinians and Muslims, what’s happened since Oct. 7 is obviously deeply personal. The veteran officer was born to a Jewish family from England and raised in St. Catharines, Ont., where his parents are still active in Niagara’s Jewish community; he reads Hebrew, went on Birthright, visited Auschwitz and is a proud alumnus of Chidon Hatanach, the National Bible contest for Jewish students.

Rinkoff, 44, says the Toronto police have been investigating an unprecedented number of hate crimes and graffiti since the war broke out, resulting in more than 54 arrests and 117 charges to date. He recently took The CJN Daily host Ellin Bessner on a tour of one of the two Toronto police command posts erected in Jewish areas and shared what it has been like for him to be the Jewish point person during this historic time.

What we talked about:

  • Watch more about Inspector Paul Rinkoff and his advice for the Jewish community on safety in this webinar by UJA Federation Toronto’s Real Estate Division from Dec. 2023. He appears at 29:00
  • Watch an upcoming live seminar from Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw speaking to B’nai Brith on Feb. 29, 2024. 
  • Read more about Toronto Police Services hate crime statistics since Oct. 7 in The CJN.

 Credits:

The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.