The safety of our community is my top priority and like many in the south end, I am alarmed by the rise in violent crimes across our city. There has been an evident increase in shootings and gang activity and it is clear that we need a renewed strategy to address this issue.
As many of you know, I have been a strong proponent of increased funding for the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) in order to ensure adequate resources are available to address emerging challenges. While I have the utmost respect and appreciation for our Ottawa police officers, I am concerned with our ability to meet the new policing demands on this city.
I believe we have a duty to our citizens and our sworn officers to ensure the Police Service is adequately resourced. I have continually voiced this to both Council and to the Ottawa Police Board and I am pleased to share that we have had some recent success.
This week I met with Deputy Chief Steve Bell and requested that additional uniformed officers be deployed in the community. As well, you will also see an increase in presence of police officers on bikes along the pathway system.
In addition to these measures, this past week City Council also signaled support for a budget increase for OPS to hire 10 new Direct Entry officers to reinforce our efforts to combat the increase in shooting and gang violence. These officers would assist with conducting shooting investigations, proactive covert investigations into people and groups involved in shootings, and community based enforcement/suppression initiatives with a focus on prevention and intervention activities.
If approved by the Board and City Council, these officers will be assigned directly to address gun violence. This is a positive step in the right direction and I encourage you to write or to attend the upcoming OPS Board meeting to express your support for this recommendation.
The meeting is taking place on June 25 at 4:00 p.m. at Ottawa City Hall. You can register as a public delegation by calling Krista Ferraro at x 21618. Written submissions can also be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are all partners in keeping our community safe and I want to thank everyone who has reached out to my office. To share your thoughts on this issue, please contact me at email@example.com.