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Recent shootings prompt Laval to increase police funding by $1.2 million

The Laval Police department (SPL) file photo. SOURCE: SPL The Laval Police department (SPL) file photo. SOURCE: SPL
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LAVAL, Que. -

More shootings in and around Montreal this week are prompting the City of Laval to increase funding for its police force and call on the federal government to tighten up gun control.

“What we are seeing now, six shootings in one week, is simply unacceptable,” said Laval’s deputy mayor, Stéphane Boyer.

After a string a shootings that saw one dead, Laval is beefing up its police budget, giving the force another $1.2 million. Much of it is going to the Equinoxe team that combats organized crime and gangs.

Laval police chief Pierre Brochet said he wants more officers on the beat and a focus on intelligence gathering to prevent more shootings.

“We want to be sure that citizens are seeing more police officers in the street and we want to be able to act directly,” he said.

Laval is following the lead of Montreal, adding more money to specialized units targeting gun trafficking and organized crime.

More of these specialized squads aren’t the answers, said Ted Rutland, a Concordia professor who has studied the Montreal police anti-gun efforts.

“We are missing huge part of equation,” said Rutland, adding that more community services are needed to help tackle issues like poverty and unemployment, to reduce violent crime.

“Various neighbourhoods, like Montreal North and RDP have been demanding an increase in funding to community organizations, to hire street workers who build relationships with youth and adult support figure out what they need to make a good life for themselves,” he said.

But cities remain focused on getting guns off the streets, urging the federal government to impose more controls.

“We believe we need an approach that is globally integrated. We need to tackle issue as whole and not piece by piece, municipality by municipality,” said Boyer.

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