The Lennox & Addington (L&A) County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will receive $100,500 dollars to go toward a new closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera system in Greater Napanee.
Napanee is one of 24 police service areas being awarded grant money by the Ontario government. More than $2.8 million in total has been earmarked by the province through the Ontario CCTV Grant Program to help supply new equipment and technology to police services across the province. That funding was announced on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.
The Ontario CCTV Grant Program is part of Ontario’s guns, gangs and violence reduction strategy, and is intended to help police services address gun and gang violence. Grant funds are available to all municipal and First Nations police services, as well as the OPP.
Reached for comment, Greater Napanee Mayor Terry Richardson said that the funds will enable the replacement of the camera system downtown.
“This is excellent news for our community and the downtown. With this gracious grant, we will be able to replace or repair our aging, existing system with newer, state-of-the-art equipment, which will assist in providing a safer business area of our historic downtown,” he said.
During deliberations for the 2023 budget, before the possibility of the grant had been discovered, Town staff had brought forward a proposal to Council to discontinue the downtown wi-fi and cameras based on the operational costs involved. However, staff noted that if it could be possible, the expansion/repair of the CCTV camera network would be beneficial to the community. As part of the budget decisions, Council voted to keep the wi-fi and cameras in place.
The condition and age of the current cameras has meant that, at times, the footage obtained is unusable for the OPP. The current setup requires the OPP to request footage from Town staff. Staff are usually able to have this for them within a few hours, assuming that the details provided by the OPP are specific.
In a regular review of Ontario government grants, Greater Napanee staff came across the opportunity for the CCTV Grant, noting that an application would involve a partnership between the Municipality and the local OPP detachment. Staff reached out to the L&A OPP and began working with the detachment to gather the information required for the application.
Within the proposal report, staff outlined the annual operating costs, as well as the projected cost of upgrades to the hardware. The projected cost of replacement was set at $100,000; this would not involve the addition of any new camera locations. Greater Napanee currently has roughly 20 active cameras throughout the downtown core, as well as a few others at various municipal properties.
At their Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, the Council received the Financial Services – CCTV Grant report, approved a budget amendment of $100,000 in the expectation that the Town would be successful in the grant application, and endorsed the application itself, which was then submitted by the OPP in early June.
Support Staff recommended committing $100,000 of monies from the Town’s reserves to fund the municipality’s equal portion of the grant, allowing for the upgrade and replacement of the current cameras, as well as the addition of new cameras with the remaining funds.
“It’s a welcomed investment in our community,” added Mayor Richardson, “and I would like to thank the Province of Ontario for investing in Greater Napanee.”
Kingstonist has reached out to the OPP for comment, but no response was received as of the time of publication. A follow-up article discussing how the OPP anticipate that an upgraded camera system will help assist them in addressing and preventing criminal activity across the town is expected to be published in the coming days.
The following is a breakdown of how the $2.4 million awarded through the Ontario CCTV Grant Program for 2023-2024 is being alloted:
- Barrie Police Service – $200,000
- Belleville Police Service – $64,337
- Cobourg Police Service – $200,000
- Durham Regional Police Service – $200,000
- Greater Sudbury Police Service – $71,050
- Guelph Police Service – $200,000
- Kawartha Lakes Police Service – $28,902
- London Police Service – $200,000
- Niagara Regional Police Service – $192,276
- Nishnawbe Aski Police Service – $23,334
- Ontario Provincial Police – Goderich – $47,443
- Ontario Provincial Police – Greater Napanee – $100,500
- Ontario Provincial Police – Kincardine – $26,500
- Ontario Provincial Police – Northwest Region – $20,000
- Ontario Provincial Police – Town of Prescott – $50,000
- Ontario Provincial Police – Township of Chapleau – $25,000
- Ontario Provincial Police – Wasaga Beach – $29,445
- Ontario Provincial Police – West Perth – $200,000
- Stratford Police Service – $200,000
- Thunder Bay Police Service – $200,000
- Toronto Police Service – $120,000
- Treaty Three Police Service – $55,033
- Windsor Police Service – $200,000
- York Regional Police – $200,000