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Police chief reassures Calgarians following wave of shootings

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The Calgary police chief said Calgary citizens shouldn’t worry about the spate of shootings in the city, but added that he was working to ensure this didn’t become the new normal.

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Chief Sergeant Mark Neufeld spoke Wednesday at a state announcement about new funding for crime prevention programs.

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Calgary has had five shootings in six days, including two murders. The latest incident was on Tuesday night when a gunman was shot outside a strip mall in the southeastern community of Radisson Heights. Police said the shooting victim later showed up at the hospital with a gunshot wound.

Neufeld said Calgary has 97 confirmed shootings, surpassing 95 in the 12-month total for 2021. He added that over the past five years, the city has seen 112 shootings in 2020 and 46 in 2018.

The chief said despite the high numbers, the Calgarians need not be alarmed.

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“You know, I don’t think the average Calgarian has to overdo it,” said Neufeld. “I think what we’ve seen is that shooting is targeted most of the time. The average Calgarian probably won’t be affected by this.”

He said he understands that people in communities where these shootings took place may not feel safe right now, and he sympathizes with those residents.

“I think it’s really important that we follow all government and partner orders and continue to work with the community to ensure this doesn’t become normal,” Neufeld said.

Neufeld also urged anyone with information or dashcam footage of these incidents to come forward to the police or crimestoppers if they wished to remain anonymous.

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His statement came as the state announced that applications for the Alberta Crime Prevention Grant are now being accepted. The grant will provide $5.2 million in grants over two years to charities, indigenous peoples, local governments and community groups working on crime prevention initiatives.

Justice Minister Tyler Shandro said the funding is part of a government effort focused on finding new approaches and strategies to keep Albertans safe.

LR, Alberta Community Crime President Gene Botha, Calgary Police Chief Constable Mark Neufeld, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Tyler Shandro, at a press conference where the Government of Alberta made a new announcement. Mark Gerlitz, Director of Calgary Crime Stoppers, Wednesday, August 24, 2022, supports crime prevention projects and initiatives in Calgary.
LR, Alberta Community Crime President Gene Botha, Calgary Police Chief Constable Mark Neufeld, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Tyler Shandro, at a press conference where the Government of Alberta made a new announcement. Mark Gerlitz, Director of Calgary Crime Stoppers, Wednesday, August 24, 2022, supports crime prevention projects and initiatives in Calgary. Photo by Darren McCowick /post media

“The fund will support the work of various organizations in Alberta who dedicate their time and energy to keeping our communities safe,” Shandro said.

Grant values ​​range from $25,000 to $150,000. The funds will be used for initiatives such as crime prevention and community safety programs, youth gang prevention, exit programs and education programs.

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Shandro said work will be done to get some of this funding to flow to smaller community organizations after getting feedback through another infrastructure grant program.

“We learned from that opportunity and made sure that we (the Attorney General and Attorney General) were making sure that we were reaching out to organizations to do that. I was given the opportunity to do so.”

Calgary Crime Stoppers director Mark Gerlitz said he welcomes the state’s crime prevention efforts.

“Successful crime prevention requires strong partnerships between governments, police and communities,” he said. “The community segment is often represented by non-profit volunteer organizations such as Crime Stoppers and the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association.”

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Goerlitz said the 2015 recession and subsequent pandemic have made it financially difficult for outreach organizations. He said 2022 required government funding for the first time in the Calgary Crime Stopper’s 39-year history.

NDP judicial commentator Irfan Sabir was more critical of the grant, arguing that the UCP had reduced or lacked many aspects of the justice system, including police, courts, victim services, and prosecutors. It pointed out.

“In Calgary alone, the UCP cut $12 million annually from the police budget, equivalent to about 130 full-time jobs,” he said in a release.

“With Calgary on pace to set a new shooting record, the UCP is focused on playing the political game and destabilizing the judicial system by spending $500 million to repeal the RCMP. .”

Applications for grants can be submitted online by September 30th.

brthomas@postmedia.com
twitter: @brodie_thomas

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Police chief reassures Calgarians following wave of shootings

Source link Police chief reassures Calgarians following wave of shootings

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