After a spur of gun violence across the city of Toronto, the Toronto Police are launching a new approach on Aug. 15 to Oct. 31, to combat street gangs and gun violence. Toronto Police's Project Community Space is an 11-week "intelligence-led operational plan." It aims to increase the safety of communities in the city that are dealing with an increase in gun violence connected to street gangs over the past month.
The reveal of the plan follows news that the Toronto Police will receive $4.5 million in funding from the municipal, federal, and provincial governments, after pushing hard for a city-wide gun ban.
This latest, centralized effort plans to reduce violent crimes and firearm offences that hurt communities across Toronto.
It comes days after Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders revealed that more than 300 people who have been charged with gun crimes are out on bail.
"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," said Saunders in a news conference Wednesday morning.
During the next 11 weeks, this project will include "officers from across the city under the centralized command of the Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force," according to the TPS news release.
The intelligence-led Project Community Space will consist of bail compliance, stronger engagement with community programs, and a higher presence of police officers in communities most affected by street gangs and gun violence.
In another effort to combat the issue — and separate from the funding — the Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force will host 31 gang prevention town halls starting in fall.
Its goal is to educate and support families that live in areas riddled with gang activity and risk the chance of recruitment by gang members in their area.
More details on that will be released in the next few weeks. Project Community Space is the first effort announced to help community members dealing with this issue.