Police Services Board looks to curb gun violence
The gun debate headed to the Ottawa Police Services Board today.
Vice-chair Sandy Smallwood introduced a motion asking the service to look at ways to curb gun violence in the capital.
Councillor Rawlson King tabled a motion at City Council in June, recommending Mayor Jim Watson ask the Federal and Ontario Governments to ban handguns in the capital.
"Brazen acts of violence in the most public of places and open spaces, and it's unacceptable," said King.
"We've reached the one-million person mark one month ago, and that means we will have big city problems, and we need big city solutions."
The decision however is not up to the city, because it does not have jurisdiction over Canada's firearms laws.
Council voted to send the motion to the Ottawa Police Services Board for debate.
"We have too many guns on the streets and too many people using them," said chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board Diane Deans.
"They're targeted crimes, but it's the worry of the stray bullet that's going to hit an innocent bystander that has us all living in a little bit of fear."
Smallwood’s motion asks the Chief to bring forward a report by the first quarter of 2020 that contains an “environmental scan and research and recommendations on measures to curb gun violence.” Smallwood says the board would like to gain a better understanding of current best practices across Canada.
The motion passed and Ottawa Police were directed to bring back a full report on the use of guns and gun crime in tthe capital, as well as recommendations for a solution.
"We need to take the time to study the issue, and look at the best practices across the country," said Deans.
"Then come back with some real recommendations."
In 2018, Ottawa had a record-high shootings with 78. So far for 2019, there have been 41 reported shootings, four of which left people dead.
"One shooting is too much," said interim police chief Steve Bell.
"We need to look at all the different strategies we can use."
- With files from Christina Succi