FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2022
QUINTE WEST– Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced today that the Quinte West Police Services Board will receive $245,179 through the Community Policing and Safety Grant this year to support two community safety initiatives.
An $182,679 grant will support “Enhancing partnerships with community resources to enable robust wraparoun support for reducing unnecessary police interactions.” The project will see the Quinte West OPP build on existing partnerships with St. Leonard’s Intersectional Program, Victim Assistance, and Addictions and Mental Health Service Hastings-Prince Edward to expand police capability to appropriate resources, allowing partner agencies to staff programs for referrals and provide additional hours for a dedicated mental health officer.
A $62,500 grant will support a pair of pilot projects: a mobile community resource unit and a wellness expo. The projects will increase first responder and public awarenss of existing mental health and addictions services, decrease stigma and promote better collaboration between agencies to reduce the need for police intervention related to mental health and addictions issues.
In May, the Quinte West OPP, the City of Quinte West, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, mental health agencies and non-profits will host a two-day wellness expo with a range of workshops, training sessions, and guest speakers targeted at mental health professionals, physicians, first responders, and employers. Then, between June and September, the partners will provide a pop-up community resource centre between June and September with an office trailer located in the downtown core to provide programming for vulnerable individuals and raise mental health awareness.
“With a collaborative approach, the agencies serving Quinte West can be more effective in addressing mental health and addictions and reducing police intervention,” said Smith. “These provincial grants will give the OPP, the City, and their partners additional tools to support their approach.”
Mayor Jim Harrison welcomed the announcement.
"Today's funding announcement will assist the City of Quinte West, the Quinte West O.P.P. along with our partners, in achieving the objectives of our new Community Safety and Well-being Plan and ensuring our most vulnerable residents receive the resources and support they require to stay healthy. We extend our thanks to the Province of Ontario for their support and acknowledgment of these worthwhile projects,” said Harrison.
Quinte West OPP detachment commander Insp. Christine Reive said the funds will make a difference.
“The Quinte West OPP has actively pursued partnerships with the City of Quinte West and local agencies, to address underlying issues that impact public safety. Insecure funding is a hurdle that needed to be addressed in maintaining these vital community resources," said Reive. “We are proud to work alongside St. Leonard’s Community Services, Victim Assistance and Addictions and Mental Health, as well as the many groups participating in the Community Safety and Well-being Planning. These grants will allow us to continue our forward momentum as we work towards better solutions for our vulnerable citizens.”
Through the Community Safety and Policing Grant program, eligible police services are provided with funding to support the implementation of public safety and community policing initiatives that focus on local and provincial priorities such as community outreach programs, human trafficking and guns and gang violence.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of Ontarians,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. “Through this grant funding, we are helping build safer communities as well as ensuring Ontario’s police services have the resources they need to address the issues that matter most in their communities and do their jobs effectively.”
Of the $267.6-million investment provincially, approximately $226 million will be provided through the local priorities funding stream to help police services address priority issues specific in their communities. These projects may include:
- Deploying additional frontline police officers where and when they are needed most
- Creating school liaison programs to raise awareness of issues such as bullying, cyber bullying, drugs, harmful substances as well as internet safety
- Developing community outreach programs on a variety of public safety issues including road safety, substance abuse, sexual violence, and human trafficking
- Providing enhanced training to frontline officers and community partners on public safety issues such as mental health, human trafficking, intimate partner violence, and gun and gang violence.
- Setting up special units that provide comprehensive, survivor-centered approaches to address human trafficking or sexual violence and harassment.
- Setting up collaborative “Situation Tables” between police and community partners to better deal with acutely elevated risks such as the opioid crisis and mental health issues.
- Establishing and sharing intelligence gathering information such as surveillance of organized crime, covert operations, and social media monitoring of gang activity.
- Implementing crime prevention, intervention and diversion strategies focused on youth who are at risk of entering gangs, as well as exit strategies for victims of human trafficking.
- Purchasing new equipment that support policing operations and activities such as enhanced software/technology and/or new vehicles.
- This Community Safety and Policing Grant 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 one 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.