THUNDER BAY – Two projects for the Thunder Bay Police Service are receiving funds from Ontario from the Proceeds of Crime fund. “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 Doug 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.”
The money will fund The JMCR Project in Thunder Bay, as there is $979,911 being invested in the multi-partner program that responds to mental health and addictions crisis-related calls for service. Launched in 2018, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association (Thunder Bay) and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, the program will be enhanced to provide mental health education to all Thunder Bay Police Service officers as well as specific crisis intervention training to crisis workers and officers directly involved in the JMCR team. This will increase the officers’ ability to appropriately respond to people experiencing a crisis.
As well, another $979,911 will be invest in Project Floodway. Project Floodway is an existing multi-partner public safety and community policing initiative developed to respond to Recommendation 115 of the “Inquest into the Deaths of Seven First Nations Youths.” Resources will be used to enable the deployment of frontline police officers along five identified waterways in the city of Thunder Bay with the goal of these locating, assisting, and preventing intoxicated persons from injuring themselves near waterways.
Funds will also go to Shuniah, Dryden, Kenora, Red Lake and Sioux Narrows.
The Ontario government is investing more than $6 million over the next three years to help combat crime and build safer communities. The Proceeds of Crime Front-Line Policing Grant will be made available to 16 police services across the province to implement 21 crime prevention and community safety initiatives that help fight gun and gang violence, human trafficking, and sexual violence and harassment. The grant is supported with funds forfeited to the province during criminal prosecutions.
Examples of initiatives to receive funding under the Proceeds of Crime Front-Line Policing Grant include:
- Providing training for frontline officers to help them better recognize gang activity and gather intelligence on crime;
- Adding community patrol officers to neighborhoods experiencing a surge in gang-related violence or activity to strengthen relationships with community members and deter at-risk youth from entering gangs;
- Developing and implementing a diversion program to help at-risk youth exit gangs;
- Supporting covert operations run by the police, supported by victim advocates, to identify potential victims of human trafficking and hold offenders accountable;
- Providing enhanced trauma-informed training and interview techniques for frontline officers to interact with victims in a compassionate and thoughtful way;
- Bringing together municipal, First Nations and provincial police to improve community responses to human trafficking to help survivors access the supports they need to safely move forward with their lives; and
- Launching comprehensive education campaigns targeting groups that are more susceptible to becoming victims of human trafficking, such as women in low-income groups, Indigenous and immigrant women, and at-risk youth.
“Crime should not pay and that is why we are standing up against criminals who prey on Ontario communities for profit,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “We are working with law enforcement and their community partners to protect Ontarians through this investment to ramp up the fight against guns and gangs, human trafficking, and sexual violence.”