Police say Edmonton is still a safe place to live, in spite of a spike in the number of homicides.
At this rate, we could far surpass the 48 homicides we had in 2011.
But Superintendent Mark Neufeld says they’re better prepared this time, because they brought in more help five years ago.
“Those additional resources remained in the section, so they’re there now,” says Neufeld. “I guess I’ll put it to you this way, it made the first 19 homicide investigations of this year easier to deal with, then the first 19 that we dealt with in 2011.”
EPS say they don’t believe the economy is a major factor in a recent string of murders.
There have been 19 homicides this year, including 13 in the last month. Neufeld says there’s not really a direct link between an economic slowdown, and an increase in homicides.
“When the economy is strong we’re busy, and when the economy is ailing we’re busy,” says Neufeld. “So rather than being the source of the issues we face in this regard, it appears more likely that a depressed economy simply exacerbates existing risk factors.”
The latest two confirmed homicides are 23-year-old Awet Ghebre, whose body was found last month near 34th Street and 257th Avenue. And 26-year-old Nikita Lee Healy, found shot earlier this week in an apartment east of Commonwealth Stadium.
Police have also identified the victim of a previously confirmed homicide that was found in a burned out apartment suite near 106th Avenue and 122nd Street on Tuesday. 30-year-old Blair William Schmidt died of a gunshot wound. (km/bd/kdr/sj)