Toronto police chief says social programs, not more cops, needed to stem gang violence

Toronto Police chief Bill Blair says the solution to gang violence in the city is not to hire more police officers. In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Blair says the only long term remedy is for government and local businesses to start targeting young men from troubled neighbourhoods with social programming, activity and employment opportunities before they are old enough to join gangs.

Part of the solution, Blair says, requires learning more about the young people who join gangs, and finding out “where we lost them.”

Blair’s statement about social programming stands in contrast to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s assertion that more police officers will prevent gun crime in Toronto’s more troubled neighbourhoods.

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