Police to double number of CCTV cameras in Toronto amid spike in shootings

The province committed $3 million on Friday to help Toronto police more than double the number of closed-circuit television cameras in the city in an effort to deter gun violence amid a recent spike in gang-related shootings.

The 40 new cameras will be installed over a three-year period, bringing the total number of CCTV cameras operating in Toronto from 34 to 74.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement at a morning news conference with Toronto Mayor John Tory.

The new funding comes during the second Project Community Space, an 11-week, anti-gun violence strategy by police that includes beefing up the force’s Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force with 45 experienced major crimes officers from the city’s 17 divisions.

The front-line unit will be focused on a number of areas with a high concentration of shootings, though Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders has declined to be more specific about tactics.

Project Community Space is being funded in part with a combined $4.5-million commitment from all three levels of government made earlier this month.

While there have been fewer homicides so far this year than at the some point in 2018, Toronto is currently on pace for a record number of shootings. There have been 274 shootings with 412 victims in the city as of August 19, according to police data.

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