The province is looking to partner with police services across the province to expand the coverage of closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems, a key tool in the fight against guns and gangs and other criminal activity.
The investment of $6 million over three years will be made available through the Ontario CCTV Grant, a new program designed to further support police services in their efforts to enhance public safety and hold offenders accountable as part of Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy.
The grant funding will cover 50 per cent of each successful project. The program will help with the purchase of CCTV cameras, associated supplies and software as well as installation costs.
“In light of recent episodes of violence, it’s absolutely critical that we give our police the tools and resources they need to keep people safe and ensure businesses and communities can recover from the impacts of COVID-19 without fear of crime,” Premier Doug Ford said. “This investment will help keep our streets safe, bring violent criminals to justice, and ensure people can rebuild their lives in peace.”
All municipal and First Nations police services, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police, can apply for funding for the first year of the CCTV Grant cycle (2020-21).
“Surveillance systems are an important part of our partnership with police services to combat gun and gang violence. We are confident this investment will help municipalities expand their CCTV capacity and ramp up the local fight against crime,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “Criminals are always finding new ways of covering their tracks, but our government is determined to ensure municipalities and police services have the tools and resources they need to detect criminal activity and keep Ontarians safe.”
The grant builds on the province’s approximate $106 million investment to combat gun and gang violence, with the support of the federal government, through Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy. The program also complements the $14 million the province invested last December through the provincial priorities stream of the new Community Safety and Policing Grant, which addresses provincewide issues that include gun and gang violence, sexual violence and harassment, and human trafficking.