New OPP Forensic Identification Unit Under Construction



    New Facility Will Add Significantly To The Fight Against Crime In
    Southwestern Ontario

    TILLSONBURG, ON, March 8 /CNW/ - Construction of a new Ontario Provincial
Police (OPP) Forensic Identification Unit in Tillsonburg is underway,
Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Monte Kwinter announced
today.
    "The McGuinty government is on the side of Ontario families concerned
about crime and safety," said Kwinter. "Modernizing the forensic capabilities
of the OPP demonstrates our commitment to providing police with the tools they
need to keep our communities safe and prosperous."
    The new facility, announced last year, will bring together the existing
forensic units in London and Simcoe under one roof and provide for enhanced
capacity to handle many of the new forensic technologies now available to
apprehend and convict offenders. The Tillsonburg facility will be located on
John Pound Road next to an established OPP satellite office.
    "Our ministry is pleased to have a role in the development of a modern
and much-needed facility," said Public Infrastructure Renewal Minister David
Caplan. "Revitalizing public infrastructure and investing in economic
prosperity are among the goals of ReNew Ontario, our government's five-year
$30-billion plus public infrastructure investment plan."
    "This project brings the latest in crime-fighting technology to the
Windsor region," said Sandra Pupatello, Minister for Economic Development and
Trade and Women's Issues and MPP for Windsor West. "And enhancing the ability
of law enforcement officers to catch criminals improves the quality of life
for the people living here."
    "This new facility will allow forensic unit officers to utilize the most
up-to-date tools in forensic sciences," said OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino.
"This facility will play an important role in our fight against crime
throughout southwestern Ontario.
    The Tillsonburg Forensic Identification Unit is part of the McGuinty
government's $50-million plan to replace or upgrade facilities for front-line
police officers to reflect Ontario's changing demographics, increased
standards and new technological requirements.

    Disponible en français

    
                           www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                  ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE RENEWAL PROJECT

    The McGuinty government is on the side of Ontario families concerned about
crime and safety and has committed to giving police the tools and resources
they need to keep Ontarians safe.
    Many existing Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) facilities are beyond their
useful life (40-50 years) and were not designed to meet current program,
security and adequacy requirements. The McGuinty government is investing
$50 million to replace or upgrade facilities for front-line police officers to
reflect Ontario's changing demographics, increased standards and new
technological requirements.

    New OPP Detachments

    The McGuinty government is making possible the upgrade of OPP detachments
and offices for specialized units across Ontario including:

    -   Haliburton Highlands - opened in October 2006 in Minden
    -   Wellington County - opened in September 2006 in Rockwood
    -   Kincardine - construction is underway and occupancy is scheduled for
        late 2007
    -   Hornepayne - construction is underway and occupancy is scheduled for
        early 2007
    -   Hearst - construction is underway and occupancy is scheduled for
        early 2007
    -   Greenstone - construction is underway and occupancy is scheduled for
        late 2007
    -   Gananoque - occupied in December 2006
    -   Grenville (Prescott County) - occupied in January 2007
    -   North Grenville (Kemptville) - occupied in February 2007
    -   Temagami - construction is anticipated to be underway by spring 2007
    -   Wiarton - construction is anticipated to be underway by summer 2007
    -   Nottawasaga - construction is anticipated to be underway by summer
        2007.

    OPP Forensic Identification Units

    This project is part of the overall strategy to enhance and use
state-of-the-art technologies to collect and process forensic evidence in an
environment that protects front-line personnel. The strategy will consolidate
and reduce the current number of forensic identification units from 16 to 13.

    Forensic units are being upgraded in:

    -   Belleville - scheduled for completion in 2007
    -   Orillia - scheduled for completion in 2008
    -   Sault Ste. Marie - scheduled for completion in 2007
    -   Tillsonburg - scheduled for completion in 2007
    -   Thunder Bay - scheduled for completion in 2008.

    The Government Mobile Communications Project

    The $300-million Government Mobile Communications Project is a partnership
between the Ontario government and a private sector consortium led by Bell
Mobility Radio Inc. The 15-year project consolidates and replaces five
provincial government two-way public safety radio networks with a single one.
    Following the installation of the new network, the OPP will have
amalgamated 11 communications centres into five, resulting in a more efficient
and cost effective level of service for the people of Ontario.

    -   Orillia - opened in 2001
    -   London - opened in 2003
    -   Smith Falls - opened in 2004
    -   North Bay - opened in 2006
    -   Thunder Bay - scheduled for completion in 2007.

    Disponible en français

                           www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca
    




For further information:

For further information: Annette Phillips, Minister's Office, (416)
326-8265, (647) 205-6598 (cellular); Anthony Brown, Communications Branch, 
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, (416) 314-7772

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Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

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