The Owen Sound Police Service is excited to announce that they will be the recipients of significant funding over the next three years as a result of several policing grants made available by the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General under the Community Safety and Policing (CSP) Grant.
The Service was successful in receiving a grant renewal under the Local Priorities Funding Stream in order to continue with the Service’s very successful Mobile Mental Health and Addictions Response Team (MMHART). This program teams up a police officer with mental health professionals from the Canadian Mental Health Association to proactively address issues with persons in the community experiencing mental health related crises and connecting them with available supports in order to divert these cases away from a more traditional police response. The Service also receives funding under this stream to continue to support its part time officer program which allows for added resources during peak call periods, and for enhanced traffic education and enforcement. The total value of this grant renewal is $229,520 per year for the three year funding window of April 2022-March 2025, or $688,560 in total.
The Service was also successful in securing new grant funding totalling $1,194,800 over the next three years in order to augment the Service’s Community Oriented Response and Enforcement (CORE) program. As with many Services, budget restrictions coupled with increased demands for service have led to a reduction in the ability to provide proactive policing. Beginning last year, the Service conducted a pilot program to place one officer into the CORE program. The CORE officer performs a multi-role responsibility including community relations and support initiatives, directed enforcement, targeting “hot spot” areas within the City where higher levels of crime are experienced, and serving as a liaison between the Service and area businesses and support agencies. This program has been very successful and the Service has seen a reduction in call volumes as a result of this proactive approach. As a result of this successful pilot, the Service applied for funding to add two new officers into this program. The new funding will cover the officer’s salaries and benefits, a new dedicated police vehicle, services of a Crime Analyst, as well as equipment needed in order to support bicycle patrols.
Chief Craig Ambrose says “This new funding will provide a tremendous boost to our ability to provide the kind of community policing the people of Owen Sound expect. I’m very much looking forward to getting our new CORE officers out and engaged with the community as we move into the busy summer months and begin seeing many of our community events coming back as COVID restrictions begin to ease.”