There’s nothing new about the $3-million plan announced by Mayor John Tory and Police Chief Mark Saunders Thursday to fight gang and gun violence across Toronto.
Assigning extra police in the middle of a deadly crime wave — 200 officers, will target communities where the more than 1,000 gang members congregate — is standard operating procedure when combatting urban street crime.
These police officers, starting July 20 and lasting for eight weeks, will be paid overtime where necessary to patrol these neighborhoods from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., when most gun crimes occurs.
This is a sensible idea and we support it.
Police Chief Mark Saunders, bowing to political correctness, said the officers wouldn’t be flooding into these communities under the city’s new Gun Violence Reduction Plan, but will target gang members based on intelligence gathering.
Whatever it’s called, the vast majority of people living in communities under siege by gangs will welcome the increased police presence and feel safer because of it.
It’s only cop-hating activists, whom our politicians pay far too much attention to, who argue it’s the police who are the enemies of these communities, as opposed to the gangs, and that it’s the police citizens fear more than the gangs.
That’s nonsense and it’s time to confront the cop haters who spout it.
Tory said the second part of the city’s plan announced Thursday is to spend $12 million in federal and city aid on programs designed to help at-risk youth stay out of the gangs.
That’s fine if they actually work, although we’re very skeptical of the argument that more basketball courts and community centres reduce urban street crime, unless they’re actually assessed for their effectiveness.
Useful programs deserve support, but they need to be assessed for effectiveness and useless ones shut down as a waste of taxpayers’ money, with the funds transferred into anti-gun and anti-crime initiatives that will work.
Finally, we agree with Tory’s support, along with that of Saunders, Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack and Premier Doug Ford, for getting Ottawa to toughen laws regarding urban street crime, such as tightening bail conditions.
Sadly, given that it’s the Trudeau’s government in power, which tends to be soft on crime, we’re not holding our breath.
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