According to Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith, the province is investing $185,505 to help the city police expand its video surveillance systems, aiming to curb gun and gang violence. Launched in August 2020, the Ontario CCTV Grant program is part of Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy and represents a $6-million investment over three fiscal years.
The provincial funds announced Friday will help replace outdated equipment, expand or enhance existing technology or add new cameras in areas of concern for crime.
“Keeping our downtown safe means our response to violence linked to drug trafficking and gangs needs to be robust,” said Smith.
“This investment will strengthen efforts by the Peterborough Police Service to fight crime and keep our city safe. Bolstering the CCTV surveillance system will assist police services in their work to prevent and detect crime and bring criminals to justice.”
The Peterborough Police Service is one of 20 police services across the province to receive a grant for 2022-23. Acting police chief Tim Farquharson says the funds will be an important part of “combatting gun and gang violence” in the city. Since April, there have been five shootings in Peterborough, two of them fatal.
“Like many other services in the province that have accessed this grant in the past, it is another tool to help officers in bringing people responsible for crimes before the courts,” he said. “Receiving the grant money is a first step in the process which will include community consultations as well as privacy assessments and development of an internal policy on the program. The number one goal of the Peterborough Police Service is safety of all members of our community. We thank the province for the opportunity through this grant to do so.”
Smith noted earlier this year the province provided the police service with $2.9 million to hire a major crimes investigator, improve data collection, strengthen the Special Victims Unit working on human trafficking, domestic abuse and sexual exploitation, and provide advanced training for officers.
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