The GTA is upping its security efforts in the wake of the recent spike in Toronto gun violence. Doug Ford announced that his government would provide the city with $3 million in funding to increase the number of CCTV cameras used by Toronto Police. The number of security cameras is expected to rise from 34 to 74.
Ford made the announcement during a joint press conference with Mayor John Tory at the Toronto Police College on Friday morning. According to CP24, the funds will be spread out over three years. Toronto is set to receive $2 million this year and $500,000 per year for the following two.
"Our government is taking the necessary steps to protect law-abiding citizens and keep violent criminals off our streets," Ford stated during the press conference. "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 - where they belong. I want to thank Mayor Tory, Chief Saunders, and the officers on the ground for their tireless efforts to keep people safe."
The increase in city security measures isn’t surprising. All three levels of government had previously come together to provide a combined $4.5 million to the Toronto Police Service. The funds were given to push back against the recent spree of shootings across the city.
The funds will be funnelled into the Project community Space, an 11-week project that focuses on targeting gang activity in Toronto.
Toronto’s gun violence is an issue still fresh in everyone’s minds after 17 people were injured in shootings over the Civic Holiday weekend this August. Police released a statement saying that the majority of those incidents were linked to gang activity.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders revealed last week that over 300 people who had been charged with gun crimes are still roaming the streets.
"We have listened to community members who are experiencing an inability to live, work and enjoy their neighbourhoods this summer due to gun violence and safety concerns," stated Saunders during a news conference.