Premier Doug Ford joined Mayor John Tory in August to announce funding for new closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras to help police respond to Toronto’s recent episodes of gun violence. This investment by the Ontario government will more than double the number of cameras currently operated by the Toronto Police Service. The $3 million investment will increase Toronto’s CCTV system from 34 cameras to 74. This year, $2 million will be spent on the infrastructure, while $500,000 will be spent the following two years to support ongoing operational costs.
The new funding is in addition to the commitment made last month by the Government of Ontario to support the Toronto Police Service’s recently announced Project Community Space. This 11-week initiative will put more police officers on the ground in surge areas to increase the safety of Toronto neighbourhoods where recent episodes of gun violence have occurred.
“Our government is taking the necessary steps to protect law-abiding citizens and keep violent criminals off our streets,” Ford said. “This investment will give the Toronto Police Service the tools they need to fight gun and gang violence in Toronto and put violent criminals behind bars.”
Ontario is investing $28 million over four years in the fight against guns and gangs in Toronto. The provincial government has also launched a province-wide strategy to curb gun crime and dismantle gangs once and for all. In March, 2019 the Ontario government announced $16.4 million over two years to combat guns and gangs by combining enforcement, intervention and prevention initiatives for at-risk populations.
“CCTV cameras will directly help the Toronto Police combat gun and gang violence in our city, and I thank the province for their investment in the resources required to find those inflicting gun violence and hold them accountable,” said Tory.
The cameras will act as both a deterrent to crime and aid law enforcement to ensure that dangerous criminals responsible for gun and gang violence are promptly brought to justice.