Ontario Premier Doug Ford said that he is “coming after” criminals by using $6 million to combat crime in the province.
On Thursday, Ford said that he is “concerned” about reports of criminal activity in the tow truck industry, domestic violence, and shootings in various communities.
He noted of the six shootings reported within 24 hours in Toronto earlier in the month saying, “it’s wrong, unacceptable, and it has to stop.”
“My message to the criminals out there hasn’t changed. We’re coming after you and we’ll throw the book at you and we’re going to put you behind bars,” Ford said.
“We’ll keep up with the fight against these crooks who rob victims of their dignity and safety and rob our communities of the chance to rebuild.”
Therefore, the Ontario government is investing more than $6 million over the next three years to help combat crime.
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According to the province, the proceeds of Crime Front-Line Policing Grant will be made available to 16 police services across the province to implement 21 crime prevention and community safety initiatives that help fight gun and gang violence, human trafficking, and sexual violence and harassment.
The grant is supported with funds forfeited to the province during criminal prosecutions.
Examples of initiatives to receive funding under the Proceeds of Crime Front-Line Policing Grant include providing training for frontline officers to help them better recognize gang activity and gather intelligence on crime, as well as adding community patrol officers to neighbourhoods experiencing a surge in gang-related violence to strengthen relationships with community members to deter at-risk youth from entering gangs.
It will also aid covert operations run by police supported by victim advocates that identify potential victims of human trafficking and hold offenders accountable.
As well as providing enhanced trauma-informed training and interview techniques for frontline officers to interact with victims in “a compassionate and thoughtful way.”
In order to receive the funding the province says that police services who applied had to partner with at least two community organizations from different sectors to encourage collaboration.