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WRPS Chief addresses rise in violent crimes

'We must not become numb or normalize this level of violence in our community' said Chief Bryan Larkin

Waterloo Regional Police hosted a media roundtable on Friday, with a main focus on increased criminal activity locally.

Chief Bryan Larkin says our region has been impacted by a number of concerning, alarming and violent crimes.

It follows a shooting in Cambridge on April 17, where 58-year-old Helen Schaller was killed.

Larkin shed light on the shooting, saying it was not a targeted.

"We do believe there is a risk to public safety, and I want to be clear, there is a risk to public safety in all of these incidents even if they are targeted, in the sense that we do have somebody that has committed a heinous, terrible, violent crime that is still not in police custody or in the judicial system."

He warned against linking the shooting to the drug trade as it's too early in the investigation. Officers continue to search for a red Honda Fit vehicle in connection with the crime. 

Police also continue to investigate the shooting death of Kurt McKechnie on Southwood Drive in Cambridge in January, as well as two separate shootings in Uptown Waterloo over the Easter long weekend. 

Larkin added they encourage people to call in with information about crimes.

"In 2018 we had a record number of arrests, a record number of charges, a record number of drugs seized. Quite frankly that's because the community calls us, it's the community that provides the tips for us to launch investigations."

You can read Larkin's full statement here.

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