Mayor John Tory wants more technology to help address gun violence in the city, and part of that includes doubling the number of CCTV cameras in Toronto.
Tory will introduce the Toronto Police Board to two additional technology initiatives on Thursday, both of which will cost up to $4 million.
“In the discussions we’ve had as we developed our City’s plan to address gun violence, Chief Mark Saunders made it clear there are investments that could be made in technology that will help police keep our city safe,” said Tory. “So today, I will be asking the Police Board to give clear direction on these initiatives. I support our frontline officers and I believe we have a duty as a Police Board to provide them with the tools they need to help them do their job.”
According to the City, police use CCTV cameras “to prevent crime, catch criminals when it does happen, give people a sense of safety and give officers one more investigative tool,” which is why Tory wants to double the amount around Toronto. “These cameras will be deployed prudently and sensitively but with a view to maximizing solving crime and crime prevention potential.”
Another technology addition for Toronto police is the ShotSpotter.
ShotSpotter, which is used in other cities across the US, including New York City and Chicago, has allegedly helped police seize more guns, shell casings, and bullet fragments that have been left at shooting scenes, make more arrests and connect separate shooting incidents faster.
The City says that ShotSpotter would help Toronto Police to much more quickly detect shooting occurrences and their precise locations so officers can be there much faster.
Tory will also be asking police to be ready to expand the Neighbourhood Officer Program, should funding become available from other levels of government. The program will be in four additional neighbourhoods this fall and is aimed at bridging the gap between residents and officers.
“Neighbourhood officers are an initiative which receives positive reviews both from police and community residents and it is supported by the facts,” said Mayor Tory. “There are indications that federal and provincial funding initiatives may provide for some further expansion of this program and I want us to be ready to roll it out to additional neighbourhoods as soon as possible.”
Today’s news follows Tory’s announcement for new measures to tackle gangs and the rising gun violence in the city.
At city hall on Wednesday, the Mayor revealed 16 initiatives that would protect the safety of Toronto communities, at a cost of $12 million.