Premier Kathy Dunderdale this morning announced $1 million through Budget 2013 to create a new Task Force on Child Exploitation and Drugs. From left are: RNC Chief of Police Robert Johnston; Dunderdale; Justice Minister Darin King; and RCMP Assistant Commissioner and Commanding Officer, RCMP B Division - NL, Tracy Hardy. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram
Premier Kathy Dunderdale was flanked by police and fellow politicians this morning to announce a new police task force to deal with child exploitation, illegal drugs and other serious crime.
The new task force will combine resources from the RNC and the RCMP.
Dunderdale said the province is kicking in $1 million in funding in the 2013 provincial budget.
"Our approach to policing and the security of our communities will remain proactive," Dunderdale said.
Justice Minister Darin King said the new unit will "provide safer communities."
A news release notes a framework has been established for the task force and specific details will be announced once the formal structure is in place. The team will consist of crime analysts, investigators, computer forensic specialists and other specialized members of both police services.
There have been significant investments in recent years in both of the province’s police services. Last year the province increased funding for the RNC Internet Child Exploitation Unit and the new RNC headquarters at Fort Townsend is expected to open in the coming months.
“Individuals involved in exploiting our youth do not adhere to jurisdictions, provinces or borders,” said RNC Chief Robert Johnston. “The creation of this new provincial enforcement team will enhance our ability to provide safer communities through policing excellence.”
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador also recently entered into a new 20-year agreement with the RCMP that will see the police service continue its valuable work throughout all regions of the province until at least 2032.
“Tackling serious and organized crime is one of the Newfoundland and Labrador RCMP's strategic priorities,” said RCMP Assistant Commissioner and Commanding Officer Tracy Hardy. “The co-ordinated expertise of combined police resources, working with other enforcement and social services, will have a significant impact on the reduction of crime in our communities.”