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Sudbury officer joins team to fight organized crime in Ontario

BY KEITH LACEY klacey@northernlife.ca One of Greater Sudbury Police Service?s finest has been selected to help lead the fight against organized crime in Ontario. Staff Sgt.
BY KEITH LACEY

One of Greater Sudbury Police Service?s finest has been selected to help lead the fight against organized crime in Ontario.

Staff Sgt. Dave Bedard has been seconded by the provincial government to lead a new organized crime strategy.

Bedard, a 25-year veteran of the local police service, has to relocate to Toronto for one year.

Bedard was in Toronto Friday morning and could not be reached for comment.

He will report directly to the deputy minister for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Bedard will help formulate an enhanced strategy to help control the rapid growth of organized crime in Ontario, said Sudbury Police Chief Ian Davidson.

?This is a very high profile job with a lot of expectations, but we?re confident Bedard will do a great job,? said Davidson. ?I am very proud of Bedard.?

Davidson said ministry officials approached him several weeks ago inquiring if there was a suitable candidate to lead the organized crime team.

Although there were several veteran officers he considered, Bedard?s high quality of police work over the years and his experience in this particular area of criminal behaviour made him stand out, said Davidson.

The ministry will pay all of Bedard?s wages and training. The secondment won?t cost the local police service one penny, although another member of the local service will have to move up to take over Bedard?s duties for the next year, said Davidson.

Part of Bedard?s job will involve travelling throughout the province to meet with officers involved in criminal intelligence work, as well as reviewing the province?s current organized crime strategy and coming up with ideas to improve what?s already in place.

Police chiefs across Ontario fully realize the influence of organized crime is growing with each passing year and it?s a problem that?s not going to go away, Davidson said.

Organized crime has long controlled the illegal drug trade in Ontario, but has grown to include illegally smuggling people into Canada and Ontario, controlling much of the sex trade and large-scale cannabis growing operations, he said.

Organized crime is also at the centre of the multi-billion dollar stolen vehicle rings that operate in this province, he said.

?These people are always looking for ways to succeed...where there?s an opportunity to make money, they will do it,? he said.