Whitby MPP announces $52,000 in funding to help DRPS expand video surveillance systems

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Published September 16, 2022 at 2:43 pm

The Ontario government is investing $52,062 to help Durham Police expand its video surveillance systems and better protect the community against crime and the threat of gun and gang violence.

Funding is being delivered through the Ontario Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Grant Program and will be used to replace outdated equipment, expand or enhance current technology, and install new or additional CCTV surveillance cameras in areas where gun and gang violence and correlated crimes, such as drug and human trafficking, are most prevalent.

“Our frontline police, the heroes we rely on to bring criminals to justice, tell us that CCTV technology works and is one of the best tools we have to gain critical advantage over criminal organizations,” said Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier. “These investments will improve the Durham Regional Police Service’s Support and Outreach (SOS) Program, increasing community involvement and aiding in the detection and prevention of criminal activity.”

Launched in August 2020, the Ontario CCTV Grant program is part of Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy and represents a $6 million investment across the province over three fiscal years, from 2020-2021 to 2022-2023. Durham Regional Police Service is one of 20 police services across the province to receive a grant for 2022-23.

“Safety in Pickering-Uxbridge, and across Durham Region is the top priority of the provincial government,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge and Ontario’s Finance Minister. “Investing in new CCTV equipment will replace outdated equipment, enhance current technology, and expand CCTV camera coverage in areas where gun and gang violence and correlated crimes – such as drug and human trafficking – are most prevalent.”

“Keeping the residents of Durham Region safe is a priority for our Government” said Durham Riding MPP Todd McCarthy. “Providing law enforcement with the added tools and resources such as CCTV coverage and enhanced technology to combat human and drug trafficking, guns and gang violence, we are committed to supporting our front-line officers who put their lives on the line every day.”

Patrice Barnes, the newly elected MPP for Ajax, said Queen’s Park is investing in Durham’s safety by updating the existing CCTV coverage. “This is an example of our government’s plan to work proactively in the prevention of crime in our communities. We will continue to look for ways to improve the existing infrastructure and use technology to help support our law enforcement partners and serve the community.”

Solicitor General Michael Kerzner added that CCTV surveillance systems are an “important part” of local police work to detect, prevent, and deter criminal activity, especially in areas of gun and gang violence and other serious crimes.

The grant funding covers 50 per cent of project costs up to a maximum of $200,000 for each successful project.

Durham Police also received funding from Queen’s Park’s Community Safety and Policing grant program in April to support two projects that address at risk individuals in the region, including the creation of youth/gang liaison officers to help front-line officers and community partners identify at risk youth, and a second project supporting the Durham Community and Safety Well-Being Plan through coordination, collaboration, training and evidence-based data evaluation to address priority risk factors.

The total three-year investment to the Durham force is now nearly $10.5 million.

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