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Province announces $3M in additional funding for new CCTV cameras in Toronto

Last Updated Aug 23, 2019 at 6:18 pm EDT

The provincial government is working with city officials to try to curb gun violence in Toronto.

On Friday, Premier Doug Ford, in a joint press conference with Mayor John Tory, announced that the province would be investing $3-million over three years for new closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

The investment would bring the city’s police run security cameras up from 34 to 74.

“My message to these violent criminals, to the people terrorizing innocent families, is this — we’re coming for you, we will catch you and we will bring you to justice,” Ford said.

The funding from the province is in response to a request made by Tory.

“We need to work together to keep our streets safe and to keep communities safe for everyone which is why we’re here today and I want to thank the government of Ontario and Premier Ford for responding positively to our application for this critical investment which will directly help our Toronto Police Service combat gun and gang violence in our city,” Tory said.

Tory said this investment will ensure that officers have new resources to keep neighbourhoods safe and “hold criminals responsible for inflicting violence on our city.”

This new funding is in addition to the $1.5-million commitment the province made last week to support Toronto Police Services’ Project Community Space — an 11-week initiative to combat gun and gang violence in the city.

“In total, our government is investing $28-million over four years to fight gun and gang violence in Toronto,” Ford said.

“Chief Saunders is already taking actions through the Project Community Space, to crack down and put violent gun and gang members where they belong, behind bars.”

Project Community Space, which began earlier this month, will run until October 31 and be funded by the $4.5 million in immediate funding previously promised by the federal, provincial and municipal governments. The program will include officers from across the city under the centralized command of the guns and gangs task force and will be intelligence-led.

The NDP’s youth engagement critic and its community safety and correctional services critic said Ontario, too, should focus more on preventing crimes.

“We were disappointed that Doug Ford’s announcement on gun violence again included only tools that could help after a shooting,” Faisal Hassan and Kevin Yarde said in a statement.

“The real work of stopping gun and gang violence starts before kids join gangs, not after heart-breaking and devastating shootings tear families apart and take lives.”

Watch the full announcement below.