Ontario Increasing Supports to Improve Community Safety in Waterloo RegionPublished on April 19, 2022
Investment helping local police fight crime and keep people safe.
WATERLOO REGION - The Ontario government is investing $12,309,272.88 over three years to provide the Waterloo Regional Police Service with significant new resources to safeguard Waterloo Region. This funding is part of Ontario’s $267 million investment in the Community Safety and Policing (CSP) Grant Program for initiatives that help combat crime locally.
The Waterloo Regional Police Service is one of 90 police service boards receiving funding through the CSP Grant Program for 147 public safety initiatives focusing on local and provincial priorities such as gun and gang violence, sexual violence and harassment, human trafficking, mental health and addictions and hate-motivated crime. Many projects will be undertaken in collaboration with community partners.
“The WRPS has provided crucial crime prevention and community support to the Region of Waterloo throughout the challenges of the global pandemic, and they continue to show leadership in policing in Ontario and across Canada,” said Mike Harris, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga. “Under the leadership of Chief Larkin and his team, the WRPS will utilize these funds to enhance and evolve policing methods to improve training, safety, communication, intervention and outreach across our communities.”
- $1,500,000.00 for the Gang and Hate Crime Intelligence and Enforcement Initiative
- $9,309,272.88 for the Community Engagement and Wellbeing Branch (CEWB) with the Crisis Call Diversion Program.
- $1,500,000.00 for the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board
“Community safety is a top priority, and our government has been strengthening our justice system to protect communities and hold offenders accountable,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “This investment is another way we are helping police services address local challenges and improve the well-being of the people they serve. Whether to combat the opioid crisis, share intelligence, or prevent violent crime, this funding will make a difference in all corners of Ontario.”
The CSP Grant Program helps police services address priority issues identified in their communities such as expanding mental health supports, preventing crime in schools and combatting cyber-crime. It also addresses provincewide priorities such as:
- Gun and gang violence
- Sexual violence and harassment
- Human trafficking
- Mental health and addictions
- Hate-motivated crime.
"This investment by the Ontario Government will support our police service in its mission to deliver effective policing services to Waterloo Region and strengthen public safety and community wellbeing," said Bryan Larkin, Chief of Police. "The majority of this funding will be used towards our Community Engagement and Wellbeing Branch (CEWB) and the Crisis Call Diversion Program to ensure further proactive upstreaming for those who require collaborative community supports."
"Thank you to MPP Harris and the Province of Ontario for today's investments in our community. Addressing community safety and mental health are important priorities for our region." Region of Waterloo Chair, Karen Redman.
Supporting our community by ensuring people can access the right services at the right time is critical and this funding will help in doing just that,” said Mayor Kathryn McGarry. “By embedding mental health professionals in initial interactions, Waterloo Region Police Service can offer assistance in connecting the dots for many at their most vulnerable, in turn creating a more supportive and safe community for all.”
“Community safety is a priority for everyone in our community. Today’s announcement by the province of Ontario for the Waterloo Regional Police Service will help ensure key investments can be made to assist with resources for key areas of concern within our municipalities ranging from additional support resources for dealing with issues of mental health and addictions to being able to respond to issues such as gang and organized criminal activity,” said Mayor of Kitchener, Barry Vrbanovic. “These investments coupled with local investments made in upstream funding over the long-term will help ensure this community continues to be a safe place to live, work and play.”
“When citizens are in desperate need, 9-1-1 is who they call to get help for their needs, including mental health,” said Mayor of Waterloo, Dave Jaworsky. “This major investment in wellbeing and the Crisis Call Diversion Program enables the police to bring in experts to provide the best available assistance.”
- This investment will be allocated over a three-year period: 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25 to recipients and projects listed here.
- The maximum funding for any initiative under the Provincial Priorities Funding Stream is $1.5 million over three years.
- Under the Local Priorities Funding Stream, each eligible police services board had a pre-determined allocation that they could apply for.
- Police services will be required to report twice a year on the financial activities and outcomes of their initiatives.
- Ontario’s community safety grant programs and initiatives that help address local crime and complex social issues to protect the well-being of communities.