In an attempt to curb crime, violent and repeat offenders will soon face increased scrutiny thanks to a new provincial bail compliance program.
As part of the $24-million initiative, the Chatham-Kent Police Service is receiving $1.2 million over the next three years, allowing the service to dedicate specific resources to help prevent serious offenders from committing further crimes while out on bail.
The CKPS was one of 17 municipal police services to receive a Bail Compliance and Warrant Apprehension grant. Four First Nations police services, and 12 OPP services are also in line for funding.
The money is to be used to develop bail compliance and warrant apprehension teams to monitor high-risk individuals.
Chatham-Kent–Leamington MPP Trevor Jones said the province is striving to give law enforcement the tools it needs to help protect communities, support victims of crime and keep people safe.
“It is unacceptable for violent offenders to commit serious crimes while out on bail,” said Jones in a media release, adding the program will assist in making Ontario one of the safest jurisdictions in Canada.
Chief Gary Conn said the CKPS is pleased to receive the “generous” grant funding of $400,000 annually for the next three years.
Conn said the money will be used to hire additional staff who will have the training and resources to adequately educate, support and “enforce bail conditions on persons that pose the highest risk to committing further criminal acts and pose a substantial risk to public safety.”
In addition, the chief said the grant will further aid vulnerable members in the community and prevent revictimization.
“Clearly, the provincial government takes our issues seriously with increased training and grant funding that ultimately correlates back to enhancing community safety and wellbeing,” Conn stated.
The BCWA grant is part of a $112-million investment by the Ontario government. Other initiatives include the creation of a Bail Compliance Unit within the OPP’s Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement (ROPE) Squad; the establishment of intensive serious violent crime bail teams within the court system, and a new province-wide compliance dashboard to help monitor high-risk offenders with the most accurate data possible.