Chief Saunders announces extension to Project Community Space, City-wide centralized team approach to gun and gang violence
Thursday, October 31, 2019 - 2:32 PM
Corporate Communications: 416-808-7100
Chief Mark Saunders is extending Project Community Space, an intelligence-led operational plan to address increased gun violence associated with street gang activity in Toronto. The Project was scheduled to end this week.
Project Community Space involves the deployment of frontline and specialized officers working under the direction of the Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force.
“I am extending Project Community Space until further notice while we work to address gun violence in the city. We are experiencing the highest number of shootings recorded to date in Toronto - a total of 237 this year - where someone has been injured or killed. We will keep the extended resources in place at this time,” said Chief Saunders.
Chief Saunders continued, “During the 11 weeks of the Project, Toronto police officers have made 391 arrests and laid 908 charges with firearm-related offences accounting for 26% of charges laid. Eleven percent of the charges were for violent offences including assault, robbery and sexual offences, and 9% of arrests were for outstanding warrants,” he continued.
“The Project allowed for our officers to conduct 1,857 bail compliance checks in the city,” the Chief continued.
The operational plan includes monitoring bail compliance, enhanced engagement with communities, and increasing police presence and visibility in areas frequently associated with street gangs and gun violence.
The Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force has hosted 12 of 31 planned gang prevention town halls, aimed at educating and supporting families who live in areas most affected by gang activity.
The Project was announced on August 14, 2019 and included $4.5 M in funding from all three levels of government. The extension will continue to draw on these original funds.
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Allison MacNeil Sparkes, Corporate Communications, for Office of the Chief