D’Arcy street was closed around noon on Friday while an announcement was made outside the Venture 13 facility. The Provincial Government announced a grant of $200,000 to Cobourg Police to implement CCTV for their “Next Generation Community Safety Strategy”. The grant covers 50% of the cost of the project which will integrate CCTV cameras installed by the Town and private businesses plus some new ones. The location of some of the new ones will not be disclosed. The idea is to improve public safety since if criminals know they will be caught, they are less likely to offend. The announcement was made by Solicitor General Sylvia Jones with supporting remarks by Mayor John Henderson, MPP David Piccini, Police Services Board Chair Dean Pepper, Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf and Wendy Curtis, Executive Director, Northumberland CFDC.
MP Philip Lawrence was also at the announcement but did not address those present who mostly consisted of the media. (CFDC is federally funded). Since the event was held outside, Police closed D’Arcy Street – I counted five Police cars involved.
Chief VandeGraaf said that “innovation is one of our core values” and pointed to the Police partnership with Northumberland CFDC and the creation of the V13 Policetech Accelerator. Technical details were not provided but it seems the new system is new technology developed at Venture 13 and will integrate all existing cameras plus some new ones. It will include advanced software and do a better job of surveillance.
Chief VandeGraaf said:
Implementing a scalable mesh video network will enforce the overall well-being of the community and at the same time we will be testing and leading with a first of its kind technology within Canada.
New cameras will be deployed “in areas where gun and gang violence and other criminal activity are most prevalent.” They will help catch criminals coming here from the GTA.
Underlining the goal of deterring and catching criminals, MPP Piccini said that a CCTV camera had been instrumental in catching the criminal who had made the recent vicious assault in Whitby. The victim had a sister-in-law who organized a rally in Cobourg on August 22. Report here.
It was clear from what was said by Piccini and others that Chief VanderGraaf is seen as a Provincial leader in both Community Policing and innovation. I note that a total of 18 communities will share in $1.6 Million in CCTV grants by the Province but the $200K grant is bigger than average.
Photos of the Event
Addendum – 29 November
Today’s Northumberland has put a video of the above announcement event online using You-Tube. Here it is:
Addendum 30 November 2020
Press release from Town of Cobourg – 30 November 2020
V13 Policetech Accelerator: Creating an innovative approach for community safety through a Next Generation Safety Strategy Network – A first in Canada.
Cobourg, ON (November 30, 2020) – The Honorable Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General visited Cobourg’s Venture13 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre on Friday November 27th with David Piccini – MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South, to announce that Cobourg Police Service (CPS) has received $200,000 from the Province through the Ontario Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) grant program. This funding will support a project to implement a mesh network paired with an advanced analytical solution and will set the foundation for a scalable mesh ecosystem aimed at prevention, interdiction and enforcement for enhanced community well-being.
Driven by V13 Policetech Accelerator [a joint venture of CPS and Northumberland Futures Community Development Corporation (CFDC) with the support of FedDev Ontario’s Rural Innovation Initiative], this project and funding is a direct demonstration of the accelerator’s mandate to provide smart policing and safety solutions. The demonstration project is at the forefront of emerging technologies and innovations that will drive operational excellence, enabling the interventions that will continue to keep the community and officers safe now and in the future.
Launched in February of this year, the V13 Policetech Accelerator set out with a commitment to drive policing innovation and entrepreneurship to improve community safety, and in just shy of 10 months it is exciting to see the momentum of the Accelerator and the adoption of next generation technology like this with the support of the Provincial government within our local community.
“As I have said before, Innovation is a core value of our Police Service. We are excited to see this investment from the Province of Ontario which will allow Cobourg Police to transform the foundation for community safety. When we joined this partnership with Northumberland CFDC and created the V13 Policetech Accelerator our goal was to have this as a police technology test bed for rural and small-town communities dedicated to adopting novel technologies and new solutions for enhanced community safety and operational excellence. Implementing a scalable mesh video network will enforce the overall well-being of the community and at the same time we will be testing and leading with a first of its kind technology within Canada.” said Paul VandeGraaf, Chief of Police, Cobourg Police Service.
The total project amounting to almost $500,000 will be funded through the CCTV grant, the Policetech Accelerator, Northumberland CFDC and CPS. This Community Safety strategy embraces next generation technology and leverages the best of business, technology, communications and community partnerships to drive community safety through transformative police technologies. The scope of the project will merge hardware (CCTV cameras) with advanced analytical capabilities that will integrate a Community Safety Network enabling rapid post-event response for victim identification and crime prevention. This first phase will lay the groundwork for a comprehensive solution that will look to eventually include data from a multitude of sources including Police, Municipal and Private.
“Through the V13 Policetech Accelerator we have the ability in-house to connect, create, augment and accelerate new concepts for innovation in community safety and smart policing. We are very excited to see this CCTV grant project come to fruition and demonstrate the work this accelerator partnership has done to bridge the gap with Next Generation technology, collaborate intellect and scalable safety solutions” said Wendy Curtis, Executive Director, Northumberland CFDC.