Nancy MacDonald and Shelley Atkinson, both widows of police officers killed in the line of duty, honoured their husbands, and were joined by Police Service representatives and Police Association representatives, including Ontario Provincial Police Association Vice President David Sabatini at a Ministry of the Solicitor General of Ontario press conference giving police more resources to monitor and enforce bail conditions at the Durham Regional Police Service Education and Training Centre in Whitby on Thursday January 11, 2024.

The following are details as released in a new release by Solicitor General Michael Kerzner.

NEWS RELEASE Ontario Putting More Repeat Violent Offenders Behind Bars Province giving police more resources to monitor and enforce bail conditions January 11, 2024
Ministry of the Solicitor General
WHITBY — As part of the province’s plan to protect communities, support victims of crime and keep people safe, the Ontario government is investing $24 million over three years to help prevent repeat and violent offenders from committing serious crimes while out on bail. “It is unacceptable that repeat and violent offenders are committing serious crimes while out on bail,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “By giving police the tools they need to track and arrest offenders who violate their bail conditions, our government is helping to ensure Ontario is one of the safest jurisdictions in Canada.” The investment is being delivered through the Bail Compliance and Warrant Apprehension (BCWA) Grant program and will help police services establish dedicated bail compliance and/or warrant apprehension teams to monitor high-risk individuals. It will also support new technology for a provincewide bail compliance monitoring system. The BCWA Grant program is part of a $112 million investment to strengthen the province’s bail system and ensure high-risk and repeat violent offenders comply with their bail conditions. Other measures include: The creation of a Bail Compliance Unit within the OPP’s Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement (ROPE) Squad The establishment of Intensive Serious Violent Crime Bail Teams within the court system A new provincewide bail compliance dashboard to help monitor high-risk offenders with the most accurate data possible The BCWA Grant program will support 17 municipal police services, four First Nations police services and 12 Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) services.

“We are proud of the work we have done in collaboration with Toronto on the bail dashboard and appreciate the Ontario government’s investment to expand it across Ontario. The sustained success of the dashboard and bail compliance initiatives will come from the continued support and investments to deliver and grow this important community safety program.”
– Chief Peter Moreira
Durham Regional Police Service

“The Police Association of Ontario represents over 28,000 police service personnel that service 45 communities provincewide. For years, members have been raising issues with Canada’s bail framework and how it was failing to prioritize the safety of our communities. The Government of Ontario’s continued support for increased bail compliance and monitoring will allow police to better ensure violent offenders out on bail are unable to commit further crimes and allow officers to continue to keep our communities safe.”
– Mark Baxter
President, Police Association of Ontario

“Violent crimes committed by repeat offenders and individuals released on bail pose a significant risk to public and officer safety. The alarming level of re-offending, especially violence towards police in the execution of their duties, drives home the need for change. The Bail Compliance and Warrant Apprehension (BCWA) Grant program will enhance monitoring and tracking of those out on bail who pose the highest risk of committing further criminal acts and make our communities safer. Everyone in the province can get behind that.”
– Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie
1st Vice-President, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police

“The City of Toronto, along with communities across Ontario, continue to deal with a troubling number of incidents of gun and gang violence, many involving individuals who are out on bail. We’ve heard from community members and organizations who have called for coordination between police, community supports, city resources and all levels of government to address this issue. This funding will support the initiatives our Service is undertaking in the area of bail compliance to ensure these high-risk individuals don’t have the opportunity to reoffend. I would like to thank the Ontario government for continuing to support police services across Ontario and the victims of these crimes.”
– Chief Myron Demkiw
Toronto Police Service

Pictured: (L-R) Jon Reid, President Toronto Police Association, Nancy MacDonald (widow of Sudbury Police Constable Joey MacDonald), Mark Baxter, President Police Association of Ontario, Shelley Atkinson (widow of Windsor Police Constable John Atkinson), Michael Kerzner (Ontario Solicitor General), Rob O’Quinn (York Regional Police Association President), Andrew Tummonds (Durham Regional Police Association), John Brooks (Barrie Police Association) and David Sabatini (VP Ontario Provincial Police Association)