6:30 p.m., March 15)
An open letter to the residents of Ottawa from Chief Bordeleau
Special to Orléans
violence that has resulted in the murder of five young
men in 2016 is a heartbreaking cause for concern for our
entire community. It has left families grieving and a
community searching for answers on how to prevent these
individuals responsible for these deaths will be held
accountable. But our overall response as a community must
be far broader. We must work together to stop these senseless
and preventable acts that have left so many young men
dead and other young men facing charges.
homicide is different, but we are seeing a trend where
young people, some of them gang members and some involved
in lower-level criminal activity, are turning to extreme
violence to settle even minor disputes.
is also a clear connection between the local illegal drug
trade and this violence. The demand for illegal drugs
has not decreased and new, street level traffickers are
entering this high-risk world. Our enforcement efforts
continue to target these offenders.
solution to addressing and preventing this violence must
include police, community groups, individual community
members and the friends and loved ones of those involved.
is why I am calling upon our community partners to work
with us to find longer-term solutions to the escalation
we are seeing. This group includes Crime Prevention Ottawa,
the Coalition of Community and Health Resource Centres,
the Youth Services Bureau, the John Howard Society and
the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization.
need to build on our existing City-Wide Gang Strategy
that focuses on programs to dissuade people from violence
and gangs, through healthy neighbourhood cohesion, early
prevention, intervention, and enforcement.
solution must also involve those who know that their friends,
sons, brothers or loved ones are armed and involved in
crime. We need to hear from them so that we can keep everyone
safe. They can provide us this information directly or
anonymously through Crime Stoppers.
can draw inspiration from other efforts like Cease-Fire
Halifax. That program is taking a community approach to
eliminating violence, in particular gun violence, by working
directly with those who run a high risk of becoming or
are currently involved in violent activity.
enforcement activities of the Ottawa police have been
robust. Between 2015 and 2016 our guns and gangs unit
alone arrested almost 100 people charging them with more
than 1,000 offences. During the same time period we have
seized 85 guns, an unprecedented number.
addition, there is important ongoing and daily work by
our patrol, neighbourhood, com-munity and school resource
officers as well as other investigative units.
enforcement and prevention will remain strong but we have
learned from other communities and successes here in Ottawa
that it cannot be our only strategy if we want to succeed.
we approach this violence from a city-wide view, our police
is also focused on the Jasmine Crescent community. The
murder of Nooredin Hassan last week was the third in the
Jasmine community in one year. A motive has yet to be
determined in that homicide.
Hassans shooting, Connor Stevenson and Issaiah Clachar
were also killed in separate and unrelated incidents.
Both of these homicides involved drug trafficking and
were targeted. Our major crime investigators have solved
both murders and young men are facing very serious charges.
each of these deaths the Ottawa police increased its involvement
in that community. Proactive work by police doubled, community
and school resource officers increased their activity
and engagement with residents. Our officers asked for
and got 24/7 access to both apartment buildings where
the Stevenson and Clachar homicides occurred.
also introduced Crime Stoppers to the residents and conducted
safety audits. We continue with stepped up patrols and
are meeting with residents to talk about how to galvanize
and strengthen the community.
have experienced violence in our communities in the past
and we have seen success in stopping it in areas like
Banff-Ledbury and Vanier.
success was achieved through community engagement, a willingness
from residents for change and a strengthened relationship
of trust with the police.
enforcement efforts of the Ottawa Police Service will
that have seen violence have also seen increased police
presence, we are permanently doubling the resources assigned
to our guns and gangs unit and we continue to work with
the provincial weapons unit and other partners to stop
illegal guns from coming into this community.
is a safe city because our community and police work together.
This is proven by our crime rates.
we are challenged by these recent incidents of violence.
Through community action, it is a challenge that we will
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
www.orleansonline.ca's main page