In early June, community residents alerted 11 Division that all was not well in some parts of the neighbourhood.
Illegal gambling and drug transactions, combined with all-night drinking, compromised peace and safety in the community.
Investigators started Project Chance, which concluded on June 26 with the execution of13 search warrants at licensed premises along Dundas St. W. in 11 and 14 Division boundaries.
A total of 29 plainclothes and uniformed officers, along with four Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) officers, were involved in the operation.
“Everything went like clockwork,” said 11 Division Superintendent Heinz Kuck.
“We had a large property truck that descended swiftly on the target locations and, by the end of the sweep, 56 illegal gambling machines were seized along with over $9,000 in cash and a quantity of cocaine.”
In addition, 35 provincial offence act charges were served under the Liquor License Act for permit disorderly conduct on premises and five further charges for permit drunkenness on the premises.
“There are a lot of bars and cafes there with many issues,” said Kuck.
“With entire paycheques being gambled away, there were multiple levels of engagement for us in terms of bringing them back to a state of normalcy.”
Kuck thanked the community for stepping forward and bringing the problem to the police’s attention.
“A voice was listened to and we responded to bring back peace and order to the community,” he added.
“Project Chance illustrates how a community in need reached out to a local Division and its proficient plainclothes enforcement team for a ‘second chance’ at peace, order and neighbourhood calm. We now have a maintenance program in place with officers walking the beat and making themselves very visible.”