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Gun violence trend in Edmonton concerning: police chief

An Edmonton Police Service vehicle pictured in Edmonton Monday, July 12, 2021. Global News

Gun violence continues to be a troubling trend in the city, according to the Edmonton Police Service.

“We’ve certainly seen our share of concerns on firearms,” Chief Dale McFee said during Thursday’s police commission meeting.

McFee noted some of the latest numbers for 2021:

  • 550 firearms seized as of June 30 (excluding air guns)
  • 167 firearms seized in June alone (excluding air guns)
  • 10 firearms seized from vehicles in June (21 including air guns)
  • 63 total shootings as of June 30
  • 14 reported shootings in June alone (57 per cent causing injury)

“We’ve seized a minimum of 72 guns this year from vehicles which right now is equated to three guns a week,” McFee explained during the meeting.

Read more: Police investigate after shots fired at SUV in south Edmonton

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McFee said EPS has been relentless on not only guns, but the combination of methamphetamine and guns which he called a “recipe for disaster.”

“We all know we have a share of both of these in our city, so that’s continued to be a focus.”

He noted it’s not just an issue here, but in Calgary too.

During the meeting, McFee pointed to rising gun violence in the U.S.

“Some of the cities — Minneapolis, Portland, Chicago — some of the ones that actually defunded police are spending more money now than they ever have. The violence and shootings have just gone through the roof,” he said.

Read more: 2 men injured in west Edmonton shootings, attacks believed to be random: police

Homicides

McFee said EPS also has its hands full when it comes to homicides.

Police are investigating 19 homicides so far this year compared to 15 in 2020 and 17 in 2019.

“None of the homicides in ’21 relate to each other,” McFee noted.

The next police commission meeting is in September.

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