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Ontario Strengthening Community Safety Through Grants to Niagara Regional Police

Grimsby – The Ontario government is helping police services across the province combat crime and keep communities safe by investing $267.6 million over three years through the province’s Community Safety and Policing (CSP) Grant program. The province is providing $9,614,791.14 to the Niagara Regional Police Service for five local public safety and community policing efforts, including anti-human trafficking, community oriented response and engagement, opioids education and enforcement, people in crisis and the real time operations centre.

“These new provincial grants will greatly assist efforts by the Niagara Regional Police Service to keep our community safe and secure,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“All five local policing programs have a direct impact on public safety and protecting vulnerable communities in Niagara.”

“This funding allows the Niagara Regional Police Service to move forward with several strategic initiatives to ensure the on-going safety of our community,” said Niagara Regional Police Chief of Police, Bryan MacCulloch.

“Among those priorities is a refocused model of community engagement, that will better position us as a Service to facilitate youth engagement, community outreach with an emphasis on problem-oriented policing to directly address issues impacting our community.”

Through the CSP Grant program, eligible police services are provided with funding to support the implementation of public safety and community policing initiatives that focus on local and provincial priorities such as community outreach programs, human trafficking and guns and gang violence.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of Ontarians,” said Hon. Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General.

“Through this grant funding, we are helping build safer communities as well as ensuring Ontario’s police services have the resources they need to address the issues that matter most in their communities and do their jobs effectively.”

Of the $267.6 million investment, approximately $226 million will be provided through the local priorities funding stream to help police services address priority issues specific in their communities. These projects may include:

  • Deploying additional frontline police officers where and when they are needed most;
  • Creating school liaison programs to raise awareness of issues such as bullying, cyber bullying, drugs, harmful substances as well as internet safety;
  • Developing community outreach programs on a variety of public safety issues including road safety, substance abuse, sexual violence, and human trafficking;
  • Providing enhanced training to frontline officers and community partners on public safety issues such as mental health, human trafficking, intimate partner violence, and gun and gang violence;
  • Setting up special units that provide comprehensive, survivor-centered approaches to address human trafficking or sexual violence and harassment;
  • Setting up collaborative ‘Situation Tables’ between police and community partners to better deal with acutely elevated risks such as the opioid crisis and mental health issues;
  • Establishing and sharing intelligence gathering information such as surveillance of organized crime, covert operations, and social media monitoring of gang activity;
  • Implementing crime prevention, intervention and diversion strategies focused on youth and young adults who are at risk of entering gangs, as well as exit strategies for victims of human trafficking;
  • Purchasing new equipment that support policing operations and activities such as enhanced software/technology and/or new vehicles.

Additionally, approximately $42 million will be provided through the provincial priorities funding stream which includes gun and gang related violence, sexual violence and harassment, human trafficking, mental health and addictions as well as hate-motivated crime.

A call for application will be issued shortly to inform police services and their communities about the availability of the grant program. Eligible police services will be required to demonstrate collaborative partnerships among police services, municipalities, and community-based organizations. Successful recipients will be announced in spring 2022.

This investment builds on the approximately $112 million the province has invested to combat gun and gang violence since 2018 with the help of the federal government through the Ontario Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy. It also builds on the province’s Anti-human Trafficking Strategy initiatives.