Waterloo Regional Police are getting $8.5 million from the province over the next three years to help combat gun and gang violence.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones announced the funding at police headquarters in Cambridge on Wednesday alongside police Chief Bryan Larkin, Regional Chair Karen Redman and local MPPs Belinda Karahalios and Mike Harris Jr.
The money is partially earmarked for the community-oriented response and enforcement (CORE) teams in the region’s major urban centres.
Larkin says the funding will allow the force to add three sergeants and 20 front-line constables.
“That money will find these specialized teams that are all uniformed focused,” he explained. “They are all highly visible and they respond to chronic community issues in partnership with our community resource officers.”
Some of the funding will also be allocated for a new team under the service’s gang intelligence and enforcement Initiative.
The chief says this unit will work on region-wide issues.
In total, the province announced it will be handing out $195 million through its new Community Safety and Policing (CSP) Grant program over the next three years.
A total of $181 million is set to go toward initiatives the province says are local areas of focus.
“Our police services and their partners know best what they need to combat crime in their communities,” Jones said in a statement. “The investment we are making today will help deploy additional front-line officers and take action where and when it is needed most.”