Aug 15, 2019

By Jane Brown

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Project Community Space starts Thursday, and Mayor John Tory says he believes the 3 month plan to reduce gun violence launched by Toronto Police’s Chief will make a difference.

“He came forward with a plan and I believe the plan is as good as one in providing immediate increased police presence, immediate police activity against street gangs, in terms of both enforcement and also intelligence gathering,” Tory explained.

Tory says it was Chief Mark Saunders who came to him for more funding, and Tory says he said to him, if you come up with a workable plan he would get the money. The mayor announced $4.5 million for the plan earlier this week. It’s funded by the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

Chief Saunders says he doesn’t want to turn neighbourhoods and communities upside down, so finding a balance is important.

“Where too much policing is not good because why should my son have to navigate in an environment where the police are there 24-7 watching their every move and then I’ve got the other environment which says you’ve got to lock them up,” Saunders revealed.

The chief says sometimes it will mean extra uniformed officers on patrol, other times it will involve plainclothes units.

Security expert and former police officer Ross McLean sees this as the beginning of positive change, as he told Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer.

Also on Fight Back, former police officer and city councillor Jon Burnside says this action is long overdue since the number of shootings in Toronto has steadily increased since 2005.

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