KITCHEN ROOM –
A Kitchener man is now behind bars in connection with the 16th shooting of the year in the Waterloo region.
It happened on Linden Avenue, in the Victoria Park neighborhood, on Saturday afternoon.
Dozens of police officers responded after receiving reports of gunfire, some of them in armored vehicles and carrying assault weapons.
“It was pretty traumatic with all those guns around us and all that,” said Rickey LaFleur, who lives in the area.
A 38-year-old man was found with a gunshot wound and taken to hospital.
“I knew something was up,” said neighbor Claudine Haid. “I just didn’t know what it was and if it was a shooting or a homicide.”
Police say a 52-year-old Kitchener man was subsequently arrested and charged.
On Sunday, investigators carried out a search warrant in connection with the shooting and seized a semi-automatic firearm and ammunition.
The relationship between the victim and the suspect has not been disclosed, but police believe it was a directed incident.
Speaking to the regional council Monday afternoon, Police Chief Bryan Larkin called for more than $ 12 million to be added to the police budget by 2022. The total cost would be $ 197 million.
“We are seeing the demands of organized crime and violent crime that we have never seen before,” he said.
Larkin referenced the shooting and the cost of surveillance due to an increase in violent crime.
“The reality is that when a shooting occurs during the day, a significant police response is required.”
Police showed surveillance video of their response to a shooting on Hazelglen Drive in July, which Larkin said was priced at $ 31,000.
Larkin also wants to add 35 police officers in 2022, saying the service receives a call every two minutes and 19 seconds.
Some in the community, including Reallocate WR, have asked the regional council to demand a zero percent increase in the police budget.
The group wants to allocate the $ 12 million to a community-led homeless and housing affordability strategy.
Regional Councilman Tom Galloway asked about the change in the policing model.
“Marginalized groups who feel they have been harmed by the police and people on the mental health record feel that the answer is not the right one,” he said.
The regional council will approve the final budget on December 15.