100 residents attend community meeting on gun violence

An Ottawa Councillor is urging residents to be the “eyes and ears” that help Ottawa Police deal with gun violence in the community.

Diane Deans made the comment during a community meeting with Police Chief Charles Bordeleau and 100 residents in Ottawa’s south-end.

Councillors Deans, Riley Brockington and Jean Cloutier organized the meeting after several shootings rattled residents in the Heron Gate/Ledbury area in April.

On Tuesday, April 17, shots were fired in the area of Cedarwood Drive and Walkley Road. Shell casings were found, but no one was hurt. In the early morning hours of Thursday, April 19, there was a shooting in the area of Ledbury Avenue and Banff Avenue. Also on Thursday, April 19, shows were fired in the area of Cedarwood Drive and Walkley Road around 10:30 p.m. Shell casings were found in a parking lot.

Resident Laura Brawn says she attended the meeting because she’s worried about drugs and gang activity in her neighbourhood. Brawn tells CTV Ottawa that when she sees people selling drugs in her front yard, her main concern is “do they have guns. Do they fight.”

Chief Bordeleau told the meeting the violence in Ottawa usually involved young men aged 18 to 24, who are connected to criminal activity. Bordeleau added “they have more access to firearms and they are using them more often.”

To address the rising gun violence, Police have added members to the Guns and Gangs Unit and the DART unit.

Bordeleau says “we have reallocated some resources and we’re looking at more permanent solutions around that at this point in time to ensure they have the capacity and that they are out in the community, building those relationships.”

There have been 37 shootings in Ottawa so far this year. Bordeleau says roughly have of the shootings are involved with drug trafficking and gangs.  

With files from CTV Ottawa's Megan Shaw