Mayor John Tory and Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders say that the city will have more officers overnight as part of their plan to tackle gun violence on the streets.
On Thursday morning, Tory and Saunders outlined their commitment to staffing changes, and more funding for community initiatives that would prevent gun and gang violence.
“We have all been shocked and horrified by the gun violence we have seen so far this year,” said Tory. “It has taken young lives, it has destroyed families and shaken neighbourhoods. I want all residents in every neighbourhood of Toronto to feel safe and to be safe.”
According to the City, Saunders approved a change in shifts for police officers between the hours of 7 pm and 3 am to make sure more resources are on the road during the hours the city has been experiencing gun and gang activity.
These changes are expected to cost up to $3 million.
“We need a strategic deployment of resources that focuses on those individuals responsible for gun crime,” said Chief Saunders. “This does not mean we will be saturating neighbourhoods with officers. It means a better connection between our frontline officers and our investigative units, resulting in the targeting of individuals, not communities.”
Tory’s plans also includes applications for National Crime Prevention Strategy Funding to reduce and prevent crimes and violence in Toronto. At this time, funding from the City and the federal government for these programs will total up to $12 million.
“We will flow money into communities where we know there are young people who need help and support from organizations already working in their neighbourhoods,” said Tory. “We all want to keep our city safe, support our communities and support our police service. The safety of this city is a collective effort and one that I know we are all committed to protecting.”