Ontario Government's Increased Support for Provincial Anti-Violence Strategy Will Help Police Combat Guns and Gangs

TORONTO, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) today welcomed the Ontario Government's increased support for the Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (PAVIS).

The Ontario Government is boosting support for 17 municipal and First Nations police services with a 41 per cent funding increase to deploy specialized guns and gangs rapid response teams as part of the Strategy. The government has committed $15 million over the next two years to support PAVIS.

"The Ontario Government's commitment to PAVIS funding allows police services to effectively target criminals and to remove guns from our communities. The strategy helps increase community safety by involving citizens in efforts to rid Ontario neighbourhoods of gang activity and drug dealing." said OACP President Chief Robert Herman (Thunder Bay Police Service).

Since 2007, PAVIS initiatives have led to more than 1,100 arrests, 2,000 criminal charges laid, and the removal of 200 illegal firearms in communities across the province. The OACP is pleased that the government has responded to requests from police leaders and municipalities to extend this highly successful program past its expiration of March 2011.

Chief Herman noted that the PAVIS announcement will give Ontario police services more resources to target violent crime and is an example of government and police leaders working together to respond to the needs of our communities.

"Partnership is the key to safe communities. PAVIS emerged out of the hugely successful Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS). Police leaders and the men and women who serve on the front-lines of policing will continue to work with community leaders and our government partners to serve all members of our diverse communities in order to make every neighbourhood in Ontario safe."

Chief Herman paid tribute to Chief William Blair of Toronto Police Service for his leadership as OACP President in 2007-08 in advocating for the establishment of PAVIS, and to the men and women of the Ontario Provincial Police for working with municipal and First Nations police services in combating guns and gangs.

Ontario Police Services Taking Part in PAVIS:

Amherstberg Police Service     Brantford Police Service     Durham Regional Police Service
Greater Sudbury Police Service     Halton Regional Police Service     Hamilton Police Service
Kingston Police     Lasalle Police Service     London Police Service
Niagara Regional Police Service     Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service     Ottawa Police Service
Peel Regional Police     Thunder Bay Police Service     Waterloo Regional Police Service
Windsor Police Service     York Regional Police      

SOURCE Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police

For further information:

Joe Couto Ontario
Association of Chiefs of Police
416-926-0424 ext. 22
jcouto@oacp.ca

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Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police

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