The region's new top cop says he's been seeing a concerning rise in the number of violent knife crimes locally of late.
It's a cause for concern, as police also note a rise in the frequency to which knives are becoming a factor in other crimes like threats, assaults, and robberies.
"Whenever any incident involves a knife, we're one touch away from it being a homicide," said Waterloo Police Chief Mark Crowell.
Crowell said there's also concern the community at large starts to become immune to that concern, or believe the increase in knife crimes to be unavoidable, or even acceptable.
He said there's also concern with how often police are finding these weapons in the hands of feuding youth.
"It becomes this one-up mentality where the fear is someone else in the circle has a weapon, and it could be a knife, it could be a replica firearm which we're seeing a growth and concern there as well," Crowell said. "Just becomes this mentality where people -- through fear -- are arming themselves so what used to be a fight maybe several decades ago that was just fisticuffs is now involving the potential for a knife."
The comments come just a day after Waterloo Regional Police released updates into a number of recent knife crimes.