Province Announces Over $800,000 to Help Local Fight Against CrimePublished on August 10, 2020
Proceeds of Crime to be reinvested to support community safety in Waterloo Region
ELMIRA — Yesterday, the Ontario Government announced an investment of more than $6 million over the next three years to help combat crime and build safer communities across the province.
The Proceeds of Crime Front-line Policing (POC-FLP) Grant re-purposes funds forfeited during criminal prosecutions and helps local police fight gun and gang crime, human trafficking and sexual violence.
“By cutting off the resources of these crooks and redirecting that money to our brave men and women in uniform, we will ensure our police can keep our streets safe and put violent criminals behind bars where they belong,” said Premier Ford. “Thanks to the relentless work of police forces across the province, we’re able to deliver $6 million more to help combat the most heinous crimes, including gun and gang violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking.”
"Any time we have the opportunity to take away resources from criminals and redirect them to victims it should be seized," said Mike Harris MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga. “Through this grant program, Waterloo Regional Police Service and their local partners will be better able to protect our community while supporting the victims of human trafficking and sexual violence."
This year, $836,527 will be provided to Waterloo Regional Police Service in collaboration with community partners to implement two projects.
The Sexual Violence and Harassment Training and Public Awareness Campaign Initiative will receive $299,067 for interview training for frontline officers who provide the initial response to victims of sexual violence. With this funding, Waterloo Regional Police Service will also be partnering with the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region and the Waterloo Region Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre to create a three-year educational campaign to increase community awareness.
A second project to create a Joint Human Trafficking Unit in Waterloo Region and the City of Guelph will be receiving $537,460. This initiative is a partnership between the Waterloo Regional Police Service, Guelph Police Service, Victim Services of Waterloo Region and Wellington County, and the Waterloo Region Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre. This four-person unit will include an officer from Guelph Police Service, two officers from Waterloo Regional Police Service and a Human Trafficking Crisis Intervention counsellor.
“We are grateful that the Ontario government recognizes and supports our continued commitment to public safety for residents of Waterloo Region,” said Bryan Larkin, Chief of Police. “This investment will ensure our Service is able to work in partnership to detect, investigate and prevent Human Trafficking throughout Waterloo Region and the City of Guelph. It will also allow us to provide a uniform voice in the training of our members and education to the community on the prevention of sexual violence and harassment.”
“We welcome these important investments that will allow us to better serve our communities and further enhance the close collaboration between Waterloo Regional Police Services and partner organizations like ours,” said Julia Manuel, Director of the Waterloo Region Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre. “Compassionate support for victims, coupled with education and prevention for communities, are key to effectively tackling these complex issues and improving public safety.”
“We are committed to working collaboratively with our law enforcement and community partners to protect our communities from those who seek to profit from these terrible crimes involving human trafficking and sexual violence,” said Gord Cobey, Chief of Guelph Police Service.
This investment builds on Ontario’s province-wide strategy to fight gun and gang violence as well as its new comprehensive strategy to combat human trafficking. Earlier this year, the province also provided $7,452,853 through the Community Safety and Policing to Waterloo Regional Police Service to expand their Community Oriented Response and Enforcement teams.
“Crime should not pay and that is why we are standing up against criminals who prey on Ontario communities for profit,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. “We are working with law enforcement and their community partners to protect the people of Ontario through this investment to ramp up the fight against guns and gangs, human trafficking and sexual violence.”
- The investment will be made over a three-year period from 2020-21 to 2022-23.
- To receive funding, police services that applied had to partner with at least two community organizations from different sectors to encourage multi-sectoral.