City Police gets needed cash

David Orazietti Money

Ontario is investing $100,000 through the Proceeds of Crime Front Line Policing Grant (POC-FLP) to help the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service set up a mobile crisis intervention team, announced David Orazietti, MPP.

“Our government recognizes that a collaborative approach to community safety and well-being works, and the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service’s mobile crisis intervention team is a perfect example of that approach,” said David Orazietti, MPP and Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. “By working together, police, service providers and community groups are better able to meet the needs of our communities and ensure that individuals at risk are able to access the services they need, including mental health supports.”

This funding will help enable the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service to set up a pilot project,that allows a specially trained police officer and hospital “crisis worker” to respond jointly to police calls for service involving mental health. The initiative will also develop multi-agency training around issues associated with mental illness, including how to recognize signs and symptoms, de-escalation techniques, support services available within the community and the role of mobile crisis teams.

“The number of incidents involving police and individuals suffering from an apparent mental illness has increased significantly over the last couple of years. This increase is taxing the resources of our police service and the hospital’s emergency department. The newly announced ‘Proceeds of Crime’ grant funding from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services will allow for the expansion of our ‘Mobile Crisis Intervention Team’, which involves the Sault Area Hospital and the Sault Ste. Marie Police,” said Sault Ste. Marie Police Service Chief Robert Keetch. “As a result of this additional funding, we will enhance our existing mobile crisis program, continue to divert individuals from hospital where appropriate, reduce wait times within the emergency department, and provide mental health training to officers. This will improve our response and the service which we provide to individuals dealing with a mental illness within our community. The grant funding is greatly appreciated by our local community and yet another excellent example of the Provincial Government’s commitment to creating a “Safer Ontario” by investing in effective community collaborations.”

This is one of 27 community projects funded under the POC-FLP Grant that will help enhance safety and well-being across the province. The POC-FLP Grant will provide more than $2 million this year to help keep communities safe. This year’s grants are based on the theme: “Creating a Safer Ontario through Community Collaboration”, and provides funding to police services for collaborative projects that address local safety and well-being priorities.

Investing in community safety and well-being is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.