Most of the 240 guns were seized for non-compliance to firearms legislation? Sounds like the vast majority of these gun seizures had nothing to do with drugs or gangs. Rather, it sounds like Toronto Police are doing what they do best; harass old duck hunters who have forgotten to renew their licenses...
Toronto police seize 240 guns, make 30 arrests in targeted December sweep
Posted: December 30, 2009, 10:57 PM by Gillian Grace
By Kathryn Blaze Carlson, National Post
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blog ... sweep.aspx
Toronto police seized 240 guns and made 30 drug and weapons-related arrests over the past three weeks in two of the city’s most crime-laden neighbourhoods.
As part of the December initiative in the Keele-Eglinton and Jane-Finch neighbourhoods, hundreds of additional patrols and dozens of undercover Drug Squad and Gun and Gang Task Force officers seized thousands of dollars worth of cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana and arrested drug dealers and gang members.
Of the 240 guns, which ranged from shot revolvers to UZI submachine guns, 239 were seized for non-compliance to firearm legislation and only one was seized during an arrest in which a man was sporting a bullet-proof vest.
“We wanted to ensure these guns didn’t fall into the hands of criminals,” said Sgt. Jeff Pearson, coordinator for the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS) project. “The issue is break and enters and theft of these firearms. Disarming criminals is our number-one priority.”
The initiative, which hinged on Project Winter Storm and Project Safe City, built on crime-reduction efforts this past summer in which the
“TAVIS project took out the drug dealers and replaced them with patrol officers,” Sgt. Pearson said.
“The December project was part of the maintenance plan aimed at improving the safety in these communities,” Sgt. Pearson said, adding that the initiative ended on Dec. 21 and was provincially funded.
During the first five months of this year, the two communities saw 16 shootings and four homicides. Since the summer, the neighbourhoods have experienced one shooting and no homicides.
“The area is much safer now, and people are starting to come out at night and enjoy the community,” said Steve Tasses, chair of the Eglinton Hill business improvement area. “A bad reputation and a rash of shootings earlier this year had discouraged businesses from opening in the area, but in the past few months we have seen restaurants open and we hope for more shops setting up in the future.”
Mr. Tasses pointed to Coronation Park, in the Keele Street and Eglinton area, as further evidence of the success of the TAVIS initiative, and said the space has been transformed from “a haven for drug dealers and crack heads” into a place for residents to gather.
“The community stepped in and cleaned up the garbage and gang graffiti,” Mr. Tasses said. “We now have a park that’s well-lit and patrolled by officers.”
Said Sgt. Pearson: “We’re not just going to walk away from these communities and, because of that, we have made huge inroads.”
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