Ottawa Councillor wants new police hires to fight gangs
After a flood of calls and emails from residents worried about gang violence, Councillor Rick Chiarelli says now is the time to talk about increasing the size of the Ottawa Police service.
The most recent shooting of a bullet-ridden car near Bloomsbury Crescent took place in a middle class neighbourhood in Chiarelli's Nepean ward.
It was the 48th shooting in the city in 2014.
Chiarelli is concerned the police service has redeployed police officers to work in the Guns and Gangs unit.
The Councillor wants the Police Service to consider hiring new police officers.
'If the Police Chief does an analysis and decides if we want two or three dollars per household above the 2 per cent budget target that he could 3 to 4 new officers, then he needs to tell us that. If that's part of the solution, we need to know, we need to do something fast", Chiarelli told CTV Ottawa.
Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau has already scrapped a plan to hire 15 new police officers because of budget pressures.
The Ottawa Police budget has followed Mayor Jim Watson's order to keep increases below 2 per cent annually.
Watson has stated the police budget will be boosted by assessment growth in 2015.
The police operating budget in 2014 was $288 million.
Chiarelli says local residents are worried about the escalating shootings and want Ottawa Police to have the proper manpower to deal with gang violence.
The Guns and Gangs unit has asked for a redeployment of 10 additional constables and possibly one sergeant to fight escalating gang violence in the capital.