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Waterloo police chief issues plea for end to gun violence after latest shootings

Waterloo regional Police chief Bryan Larkin met with the media. Kevin Nielsen / Global News

After two more shootings in Kitchener on Thursday, Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin issued a letter to the community pleading for an end to the violence in the area.

“To those who continue to commit senseless acts of crime in our region, it has to stop,” Larkin said.

“We will not stop. We are committed to working around the clock to hold those accountable for their reckless actions against the community. We are committed to keeping Waterloo Region the thriving and vibrant community we all call home.”

Read more: Waterloo police investigate 2 shootings in Kitchener early Thursday

There have now been 10 shootings in the region this year after the ones that occurred near Belmont Avenue West and Karn Street as well as Greenfield Avenue and Kingsway Drive early Thursday.

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Police are still working to see if those are connected but Larkin, who will step down from his role next month, noted that the issue is not something new.

“As of 2020, Waterloo Region’s violent crime rate was the second highest of the 12 largest municipal police services in the province of Ontario,” Larkin wrote.

“These major crimes have also resulted in significant pressure and demand on police resources and we are committed to doing everything we possibly can to investigate each incident thoroughly while ensuring those responsible are brought to justice.”

Read more: Man, woman arrested after shooting reported in Kitchener on Sunday

Larkin asked for the community to come together to put an end to the recent spate of gun violence in the area.

“Together, we must work on crime prevention and intervention,” he said. “Thank you to our amazing community partners, stakeholders, neighbourhoods, and all community residents who strive to make a difference.”

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