For Immediate Release: June 6, 2007
(Toronto, ON) – Ontario’s Police Chiefs today welcomed the Ontario Government’s $12 million investment to help police across the province fight crime and violence. The investment includes $6.3 million to expand a successful anti-guns and gangs and anti-violence intervention program to communities outside of Toronto.
“Today’s announcement is the result of government and police leaders working together to address guns and gangs and violence issues in our communities,” said OACP President Chief Terry McLaren (Peterborough Lakefield Community Police). “We have already seen that when police are given the tools to implement strategies like the Toronto Anti-violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS), we can make our streets and neighbourhoods safer. This is good news for policing and for the people we serve.”
McLaren noted that Ontario’s police leaders have consistently advocated building on the success of TAVIS by having the Ontario Government invest in police services outside Toronto so that they can tackle guns-and-gangs and violence issues unique to their communities.
Today’s funding will invest $6.3 million to support police services in Golden Horseshoe communities (Brantford, Halton, Hamilton, and Niagara), Essex County (Amherstburg, LaSalle, and Windsor), Durham, Kenora, London, Ottawa, Peel, Thunder Bay, Waterloo and York Region.
The OACP also welcomed the following initiatives in today’s announcement:
- $400,000 to be invested in a Provincial Advisory Group on Marijuana Grow Operations to work with local communities to counter the threat to emergency responders and the public;
- $2 million to support a Crystal Methamphetamine Elimination Project to dismantle methamphetamine labs, and target criminal organizations that operate them;
- $1 million to enhance the capacity of the Ontario Provincial Police to work with municipal police to identify, locate, seize, and forfeit the illegal gains from criminal organizations;
- $900,000 to support a new Intelligence Unit to help identify gang members in provincial jails and reduce the potential for criminal activity in Ontario; and
- $1.4 million for Crown Attorneys to improve responses to gun crimes.
Members of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police serve their communities as senior police leaders in municipal, regional, provincial, national, and First Nations police services in Ontario.
Below is the Ontario Government's news release:
Premier's Crime Package Takes Aim At Guns And Gangs, Organized Crime And Illegal Drugs
TORONTO, June 6 /CNW/ -
The McGuinty government is broadening its highly successful Guns and Gangs project to combat violence and build safer communities for Ontario citizens.
Building on the success of last year's $51-million investment and using the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy as a model, the McGuinty government will invest $12 million immediately to help Ontario target crime and violence.
The Premier's new crime package will:
- Implement an Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy in communities outside Toronto ($6.3 million)
The anti-violence strategy uses intelligence to target guns and gangs. In 2007, the government will invest $6.3 million to support police services in Golden Horseshoe communities (Brantford, Halton,Hamilton, Niagara), Essex County (Amherstburg, LaSalle, Windsor),Durham, Kenora, London, Ottawa, Peel, Thunder Bay, Waterloo and York Region.
- Create a Provincial Advisory Group on Marijuana Grow Operations($400,000)
The community safety hazards of marijuana grow operations call for dedicated resources. The new advisory group will develop methods to reduce the risks to public safety from
marijuana grow operations.Through additional resources, the Office of the Fire Marshal will provide increased training to help reduce the risks to health and safety for police and fire services
arising from marijuana grow operations.
- Target Crystal Methamphetamine Labs ($2.0 million)
Illicit methamphetamine labs pose health and safety risks to Ontario citizens. Since June 2006, six labs have been dismantled in Ontario(Durham, Peel, Sault Ste. Marie area, Stokes Bay and Haliburton). The new Methamphetamine Response Team will supplement the Ontario Provincial Police Drug Enforcement Section by providing expertise in dismantling methamphetamine labs and targeting the criminal organizations that operate them. The Office of the Fire Marshal is also being given additional resources to meet the increasing demands for fire and explosion
investigations and for the training and education of police and fire services resulting from the spread of methamphetamine labs.
- Expand the Ontario Provincial Police Asset Forfeiture Unit($1.0 million)
This will enhance the capacity of the Ontario Provincial Police,working with municipal police to identify, locate, seize, and forfeit the illegal gains from criminal organizations.
- Intelligence Gathering ($900,000)
A new Intelligence Unitwill help identify gang members and reduce the potential for criminal activity in Ontario.
- Additional Support for Crown Attorneys ($1.4 million)
This support will improve response to gun crimes, with Crowns working with police from day one of an investigation on matters including seizures, wiretaps, search warrants and other investigative requirements.
The McGuinty government is making significant investments to target crime in Ontario. In 2006, the government introduced a $51-million Guns and Gangs strategy that included a new operations centre and a broad range of justice initiatives to cut down on crime.