‘Edmonton has a violence problem’: Police chief speaks out on gun crime numbers

EDMONTON — Edmonton’s Police Chief is taking notice of the city’s gun violence problem, calling it “disproportionate” when compared to the rest of the country.

“Edmonton has a violence problem,” said Chief Dale McFee during Thursday’s Police Commission meeting.

According to McFee the city has seen 110 shootings so far this year, and has averaged 150 shootings for the past several years.

“The only city that’s higher than us, and it’s five times bigger than us, is Toronto,” said Mcfee, referring to recent statistics he had pulled.

By late last year Toronto had 469 shootings with 732 victims, according to that city’s police service. 

“We disproportionately have the number of shootings and we have for many years,” said McFee.

Edmonton’s latest shooting sent a 22-year-old man to hospital Tuesday afternoon. 

“We also disproportionately have a high level of crime of violence,” he said.

McFee said that going after “feeder systems” is one way to help the problem, saying social programs are an important tool to address the root causes of violent crime.

“That’s the whole purpose of why we stood up the first ever of its kind bureau in Canada called ‘Community Safety Wellbeing.’ It’s to start through partnerships connecting some of those services to that vulnerable population.”

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