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Police board gets $7.5 million in provincial grants

Funds will support outreach to local students, road safety and victims of domestic abuse

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

The Durham Regional Police Services Board has received $7.5 million over three years in provincial funding for a number of initiatives.

The monies are from the province’s Community Safety and Policing Grant Program.

The program will see the Ford government investing $195 million to 107 local and 18 provincial projects through 2022.

The Durham board will receive $2.432 million in support of public education and traffic enforcement through Durham Region Vision Zero.

Durham Regional Police will work with 42 community partners including MADD Durham, the Durham public and Catholic school boards, Lakeridge Health Oshawa, Ministry of Transportation, and others to increase road safety education and awareness.

Another $2.6 million in funding will assist DRPS’ efforts to support victims of domestic violence.

The School Liaison Officer Program will receive $1.945 million to promote education and awareness of current issues to elementary and secondary school students such as youth justice, bullying and cyberbullying, drugs, and internet safety.

More than $418,000 will also be provided towards Durham Connect, a community-based project involving 40 agencies that manage high-risk situations relating to residents who are in crisis.

The funding will provide resources to police to “identify, prepare and/or bring situations” forward.

Durham Police Services Board chair and Pickering councillor Kevin Ashe told The Oshawa Express the provincial funding provides a “considerable” boost to the service’s budget.

Ashe said the Ford government has faced budget challenges, but he is “delighted” this hasn’t  impacted its support for Durham police.

“Our police services and their partners know best what they need to combat crime in their communities,” said Sylvia Jones, Ontario’s Solicitor General. “The investment we are making today will help deploy additional frontline officers and take action where and when it is needed most.”

Police boards are required to report annually on the progress of projects funded under the grant program.