Toronto police get $25M to fight guns and gangs

Toronto police are getting $25-million to boost their fight against gun and gang violence in the city over the next four years.

Premier Doug Ford says the money allocated is in addition to the $76-million which has already been promised to support the Toronto Police Service.

He says $7.6-million of the funding will be used to establish a legal SWAT team in each provincial courthouse.

The SWAT teams will focus exclusively on ensuring “violent gun criminals are denied bail and remain behind bars.”

There will also be a new team of dedicated bail compliance officers who will focus on ensuring those who are out on bail are not violating any of the terms of their release.

The remaining $18-million will go towards funding dedicated technology and specialized tools for police officers in their fight against guns and gang violence.

Premier Ford says the initiative is aimed at, “sending a clear message to the thugs; to the violent criminals who think they own our streets… that we are coming for them, that we are giving our police the tools they need to hunt them down.”

Ford also called on both the federal government and city of Toronto to match the funding announced Thursday.

Mayor John Tory responded to the call, in a statement, saying the city plans to match the provincial contribution for the remainder of 2018.

Tory says if he’s re-elected as mayor, he would request that Council match funds at the first available opportunity following the municipal elections.