Frightening words from Supt. Don Sweet of the Ottawa Police Service.
As Ottawans we can’t accept that. Safety is one of the basic requirements of a successful community. The new normal is not good enough.
Ottawans expect leadership from city hall, city staff and the OPS on this.
Police, politicians and social workers need to get together to provide city council with a concrete plan to deal with this rise in violence. No political window dressing here … a real plan with a definable measure of success or failure.
One of the reasons for a declining crime rate in Canada over the past couple of decades is the aging of the population. Seniors are unlikely to be breaking basement windows to steal your X-box. Thus the record number of homicides was in 1995. Society was younger then.
Given the aging population, perhaps Ottawa’s increase in violent crime is specific to this city. That’s unacceptable.
When people consider basic services in a community, they think of roads, transit, water, sewage, snow plowing, electricity, garbage collection and the like. But safety is a basic service, too. Maybe the most basic service.
A city cannot be successful if its citizens are walking around in fear. Businesses won’t locate in an unsafe community.
City hall must develop a short-term and long-term plan to deal with growing violence in this city.
Ottawans are proud and thankful for our safe neighbourhoods. We cannot let this slip away from us through political inaction.
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