Peel Regional Police Chief on gun violence: “This is not the new norm for me or for my officers”

Chief Jennifer Evans

“THIS is not the new norm for me or for my officers.”

That’s what Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans underlined during her keynote speech to a group of business leaders last week. It’s an important message, because the chief wants our community to know she is serious about tackling gun violence, say police.

“My concern is for my community, my concern is for my officers responding to these calls.”  The escalation in gun violence, not only within our region, but across the entire GTA is certainly concerning,” said Evans.

Gun violence remains a top priority for Peel Regional Police and that is clear when you look at crime rates. Macleans magazine recently ranked the Most Dangerous Cities in Canada and Peel ranked 116th place which was low on the list for firearms offences. The chief said her officers work tirelessly and are committed to tackling this issue and it’s evident by looking at the list of police seizures and arrests:

  • In 2018, police estimate 126 bullets were fired to date and 209 guns were taken off the street.
  • In 2017, it’s estimated that 426 bullets were fired and more than 400 firearms were seized.
  • 72 firearms were seized across the GTA as part of a Joint Forces Operation with Toronto Police and resulted in over 1,000 charges laid against 96 people.
  • The Homicide Bureau arrested and charged a man for the shooting death of Alicia Lewandowski in March at 1343 Rathburn Rd in Mississauga.
  • In June police arrested and charged two people in connection with the shooting death of Jordan Buchner at Masta’s Lounge in Brampton.
  • Police arrested and charged one man and issued a warrant for another involved in a shooting at a Mississauga plaza in May.
  • Police arrested and charged one man for shooting Abrahan Lopez-Peralta on Fleetwood Drive in Brampton on March 13, at which time we seized a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun, a sawed-off .22-calibre rifle, a .22 calibre handgun and ammunition.
  • Police also arrested and charged a man for shooting two people, Preetpal Bal and Gurmeet Singh, at 38 Pergola Way in Brampton on April 12.
  • The police’s spring gun amnesty program resulted in the collection of 34 firearms and 80 pounds of ammunition.

“We at Peel Regional Police know that getting to the bottom of gun violence is about more than just making arrests, it’s about preventing gun violence in the first place. That means keeping kids from joining gangs, increasing trust with our community to enhance crime reporting, and continuing to strengthen relationships,” say police.

“I am so proud of the hard work our officers and civilian employees are doing to tackle this serious problem. Police officers put their lives at risk each and every day to ensure our community remains a safe place and for that I am grateful,” said the chief.

All areas of our organization are working together toward a common goal of not only solving, but preventing gun crime in the first place. Everyone here has a role to play but so do you. Our community members need to continue to be our eyes and ears to help us keep our community safe, say police.

“With a lot of the shootings we’re investigating we find there were lots of people in the room, a lot of people at the party, a lot of people in the parking lot, but nobody sees anything,” said the chief.

We need your help, say police.