Greater Sudbury Police receive grant funding to expand video surveillance technology

the Greater Sudbury Police Service is expanding its video surveillance program to help its major crimes investigations.

This month, the police service received $71,050 in provincial grant funding through the Ontario Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Grant Program. Through the program, Ontario is investing more than $2.8 million in new equipment and technology to help police services across the province better protect communities against gun and gang violence.

It was one of 24 police services in Ontario to receive the grant funding.

In Sudbury, the money is going toward the service’s Automatic Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology.

In 2020, through previous grant funding, the police service started a program involving stationary ALPR cameras being placed throughout the city. The new funding will allow them to expand that service to more intersections in Greater Sudbury.

“From an investigative standpoint, you know when we look at major crimes such as homicides and shootings and human trafficking and drug investigations, this really does put law enforcement at an advantage to very efficiently investigate these crimes and restore public safety,” said Det.Staff Sgt. Barry Ornella, with the major crimes section.

Detective Staff Sergeant Barry Ornella is with the Major Crimes section of the Greater Sudbury Police Service. (Submitted by Francis Beaudry )

Ornella said using the technology will help police in major crime investigations because the cameras can help track and locate suspect vehicles quickly in more areas of the city. 

He said this leads to more efficient police work, with a goal of quicker arrests.

“It really provides us with a very robust investigative tool that allows us to gather information when it comes to vehicles and where they’ve traveled throughout our city,” said Ornella.

 “And it really, you know, cuts down on some traditional investigative steps that may have taken days or weeks, can now be accomplished in a matter of minutes or hours.”

Ornella said gun crimes and homicides have increased in Sudbury in recent years to a concerning rate.

“We hope that the trend slows down to a manageable rate,” he said. 

“Thankfully, the good work we’re able to do and the good investigations we’re able to do, we’ve realized a high success rate in not only apprehending the people who are responsible, but also in prosecutions.”

Ornella added that police are relying more on using various forms of technology in their investigations, and he hoped that other jurisdictions would use the ALPR technology as well. 

“When we look at major crimes such as drug trafficking and human trafficking, we know that it crosses jurisdiction lines and oftentimes we find ourselves in multi-jurisdictional investigations,” Ornella explained.

“So, if this technology is adopted in other jurisdictions, we can not only lean on other cities to assist us with what evidence and information they can provide us from their camera systems, we can do the same.”

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