After 2 weekend homicides, Prince Albert police, community voice concerns about crime in the city

·2 min read
Sherry McLennan, regional director with the Metis-Nation Saskatchewan says more needs to be done to address crime in Prince Albert. (CBC - image credit)
Sherry McLennan, regional director with the Metis-Nation Saskatchewan says more needs to be done to address crime in Prince Albert. (CBC - image credit)

Prince Albert's police chief says he's deeply concerned after two men were killed in separate incidents this weekend.

Early Saturday morning, a 32-year-old man died in a shooting. Then a 47-year-old man died in hospital after sustaining serious wounds on the 100 block of River Street.

"We know that violence has a lasting effect on our community," said Police Chief Jonathan Bergen during a news conference on Monday.

"I want to express my sincere condolences to the families of those who have been victimized by this violence."

According to Bergen, Prince Albert has been witnessing a spike in violent crime that started in 2019. That year, there were six homicides.

By 2020, there were eleven homicides and in 2021, there were ten homicides. This year, there have already been six people killed.

"The crime in our inner city is getting ridiculous," said Sherry McLennan, regional director for the Metis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S) at the press conference.

"What are we going to do to get our city back again? We have addictions, homelessness, mental health issues, and we don't have enough services."

McLennan said she personally knows the families of both of the victims.

"Both families have young children that are now going to be without fathers," she said.

"Young boys that won't have that mentor in their life."

Bergen said the increase in activity is draining police resources. Over the weekend, there were 439 calls for service and some officers had to help investigate the homicides while they were off duty.

He said the police service is working hard to fill positions vacated through retirement and officers moving to other organizations.

Bergen said police will continue to work with community groups to address poverty, addictions and mental health concerns.

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