KITCHENER -- Waterloo regional police played a role in a large gun, gang and drug investigation in Peel.

More than 800 charges are expected to be laid against 88 people are Peel regional police said they dismantled the "New Money So Sick Gang," a group "responsible for a series of homicides and brazen open-air public shootings."

Chief Bryan Larkin spoke about the role Waterloo regional police played in the investigation at a board meeting on Wednesday. He said the force was involved in the project, known as Project Siphon, for years.

"This was a massive operation what will have significant impacts on all GTA communities and will disrupt the illicit trafficking that is occurring and continues to occur," Larkin said.

The board also discussed a plan to restructure some of Waterloo regional police's operations to create a community safety and well-being division.

Larkin said it's part of a plan to what he calls the roots of community policing.

The plan is to make the shift without requesting more staff, though it does come with a $65,500 price tag.

Projects would involve working with neighbourhood associations and community agencies to help prevent crime.

Larkin also said there will be an effort to change the response to mental health calls, looking at three-year strategy where medical professionals ultimately take the lead.

"This is about long term strategies about diverting call demand from policing to other areas," Larkin said. "I firmly believe you can't simply turn the tap off. There's nobody else at three in the morning providing service, we can make the taps slowly blend."

Board members also discussed the police budget. The force presented six different options on how to cut their ask for $189 million.

No final budget decisions were made. A final draft will be presented to the board in December before going to regional council.

With files from