THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Police Service, led by Ontario Chiefs of Police President and Thunder Bay Police Chief Bob Herman, can be very proud of its efforts to fight gang activity in our city. Their success to date is a big reason why our government has just invested another $611,000 in the city’s guns and gangs unit as part of the Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (PAVIS) and extended this program for at least another two years.
Gang activity—and the violence that goes with it—isn’t just restricted to big cities but happens right here at home. Our city police and the McGuinty government know this only too well. The strategy, which originated in Toronto, was quickly recognized as being crucial to getting guns and illegal drugs off our streets here in the North.
Since the program was launched in 2007, PAVIS has led to several local success stories, including the creation of the Regional Integrated Gangs Unit (RIGU) in partnership with the OPP and the RCMP. Last year alone, operations supported or led by this unit led to over 150 charges, seizure of 44 firearms, and the seizure of drugs or cash over $121,000.
It’s that kind of success that has led to greater investment by the province in this program locally. We’re very pleased to see not only this extension, but such a substantial increase to the PAVIS program for the Thunder Bay Police Service. Our government recognizes that police services must be properly funded so they can do this most difficult work.
Effective policing is the cornerstone of safety and security in our communities. We applaud the Thunder Bay Police Service for a job well done, and we know they’ll continue to win the fight against guns and gangs in our city.
Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North
Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan