The Calgary police chief agrees in principle with the federal government’s plan to confiscate firearms, but says he needs to see more details before committing to deploying his force.
The Calgary Police Department has not yet received details from Ottawa about how local law enforcement will be asked to assist in the buyback of approximately 30,000 firearms targeted by new legislation, chief Mark Neufeld said at a meeting of the Calgary Police Commission on Wednesday. .
But he broadly supports the gun-removal initiative that the federal government sees as a style of attack, as gun violence remains a top priority for Calgary’s police department, with the city heading into its worst year for recorded shootings.
“There’s been a lot of discussion, but we haven’t gotten the details,” Neufeld said.
“We want to look at it from the lens of community security, and also agent security, given the number of guns our agents are confiscating on the street – I think the number has been 330 so far, expected in the range of 550 at the end of the year.
“What’s pretty clear is that there have been mass shootings in the US and those in Canada where they’ve used these types of weapons, and the devastation has been much worse with the use and availability of those types of weapons.”
However, the Calgary Police Department will need to hear details about what is expected of them so they can evaluate how it will affect staffing needs, Neufeld said. He nodded to some other concerns, including the process for people bringing firearms to police stations.
The comments come after a news conference from the Alberta government earlier this week, when Attorney General Tyler Shandro said the UCP government will challenge the federal buyback policy and ask the RCMP not to participate in those efforts.
In response, the office of Federal Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino said they plan to continue to work with police, governments, industry and gun owners to implement plans to get those guns out of the hands of the public. remove.
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Gun use outside of organized crime is on the rise as shooting incidents rise: Calgary Police
Calgary is in the midst of a spate of shootings, putting the city on track for its highest rate of gun violence ever.
As of September 27, there were 106 shootings in the city in 2022, the most recent of which occurred just after 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon at block 1700 of Avenue SW 28, a daytime incident in a busy residential area that police say was faith-focused.
Presenting data to the police commission on the first 100 shootings of the year in the city, Supt. Scott Boyd said 26 of those are related to organized crime.
“The violence can be directly attributed to the rowdy and reckless behavior of a few individuals in our city who do not reflect the same caring beliefs and values that the majority of Calgarians exhibit,” Boyd said.
Through September 12, just over half of the city’s homicides in the year — 12 out of 21 — involved a victim killed by gunshot wounds.
The weapons involved in those crimes come from a wide variety of places. Some are smuggled into Canada or made using 3D printers, while others are stolen in commercial or residential burglaries. But the source of some of the weapons remains unknown, as their serial numbers have been illegally removed.
Boyd said shootings don’t just happen in one part of the city and don’t go to a specific time of day or day of the week.
“Crime literally knows no boundaries and gun violence should be a concern for all of Calgary, not just those who anecdotally live in high crime areas,” Boyd said, advocating for those with knowledge who can help police prevent gun violence emerges, especially amid declining victim cooperation.
“We literally get calls from someone who shows up at a hospital with a gunshot wound to their leg and tells us they don’t want anything to do with us. That level of cooperation or lack of cooperation that we experience makes solving these serious crimes that much more difficult.”